For example, you can say:

Within two minutes of the game

But you can also say:

By two minutes of the game

Which is correct? Are they interchangeable? If they are not interchangeable, what is the difference?

  • 1
    You can't say by two minutes of the game. You might say by two minutes after the game (naming a particular time). Dec 20, 2020 at 12:19

1 Answer 1


Usually, we use "by [a particular day / date / time]" and "within [a duration]" when referring to deadlines. So, your first sentence is correct.

The definition of "by" is:

  1. indicating a deadline or the end of a particular time period.
    "I've got to do this report by Monday"

The definition of "within" is:

  1. occurring inside (a particular period of time).
    "tickets were sold out within two hours"

(all definitions from Google)

However, if you are referring to a change in time, you may use "by":

  1. The opening time was moved forward by two hours.
  2. The opening time was extended by two hours.

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