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I had come across the following question in an exam:

  1. I haven't seen her ever since she returned from the Amazon
  2. You can go out and play unless it gets dark

The solutions suggest that the second sentence is wrong because until should have been used instead of unless. And the solutions say that the first sentence is correct.

Doubt

  1. Why should unless not be used in the second sentence?
  2. My reasoning for the first sentence was that ever should not be used. Am I wrong? If yes, why?
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That it will get dark at a certain time of the evening is a certainty, not a possibility. Unless it rains makes sense, but unless it gets dark doesn't.

I agree that the first sentence would be more idiomatic without ever. We usually use ever since with a positive, not a negative. 'She has looked happy ever since she returned from her holiday.'

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  • Thanks @Kate Bunting for the informational answer. Learnt something new!
    – punter147
    Jul 21 '21 at 9:15
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Grammatically "unless" is fine

But we know that it always gets dark outside every day, and it does so in a very predictable way. So using "unless it gets dark" is a little odd. The word "unless" is like the word "if" compared to the word "when".

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  • Thanks @James K for the informational answer. Learnt something new!
    – punter147
    Jul 21 '21 at 9:15

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