"By 2009, the company had spent 7 million dollars."

I am not sure if the expenditure in the year 2009 is included or not in the above context. I understand that "by" means no later than, but I also remember hearing on another occasion that by is used with present perfect to indicate that something happened before a particular time in the past.

Any assistance to clear up the confusion would be appreciated.

  • 2
    This has been asked many times before (but I can't find the perfect dupe right now) In short, it is vague. If it says "by the start of 2009" or "by the end of 2009" you will know for sure. If it just says "by 2009" it is imprecise. Just like "7 million" the value "2009" is a rounded value.
    – James K
    Nov 29, 2023 at 21:23
  • related: past perfect with "by"
    – Mari-Lou A
    Nov 29, 2023 at 21:48
  • If I said "by 10 o'clock" you wouldn't think that means up to 11 o'clock. Nov 29, 2023 at 23:33
  • No, by some date does not include that date, here the year 2009. It is just the end of a time period.
    – Lambie
    Nov 29, 2023 at 23:41


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