To complete the blank in the following sentence, the Answer Key has offered until as the only correct answer. I wonder if it could be replaced with before or maybe even both options could be correct.

We can't have dinner ......... all the guests arrive.

I have studied the answer given to a similar question but I didn't find it quite useful.

In case both answers are correct, what the difference(s) will be?

  • Yes, before is also an option in this context. – Ronald Sole Aug 18 '20 at 15:42
  • @Ronald Sole: What difference does it make in meaning then? – M.N Aug 18 '20 at 15:54
  • The meaning is the same - although I think it more likely that most people would use until in this context. – Ronald Sole Aug 18 '20 at 16:02

Both "before" and "until" are correct here. "Before" speaks about the general situation meaning that while not all of the guests are present dinner cannot be started, but it may start not exactly immediately after they all have gather, whereas "until" mostly always requires a trigger, so once the guests have all gathered dinner can start.

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