You better not serve until eight, Grace. Mr. Wengler'll be a little late.

I am not sure when Grace is supposed to serve. In or just after eight or does the limit end at eight?

  • Grace is being told to wait until 8 o'clock before serving whatever.
    – Joe Dark
    Sep 15 '15 at 16:14

It means Grace may start serving at 8'clock.

Not until X is the same as not before X, which means to wait until the time is X.

Not until/before at least X means to wait until the time is X or later.

  • Thank you for your reply. From the official translation of this sentence (in "Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut" by J. D. Salinger) to my native language results that Grace should prapare just before eight. So if I understand it properly, the translator failed in this case.
    – bart-leby
    Sep 15 '15 at 16:19
  • Sounds like it. Any time 8 or later would be acceptable.
    – LawrenceC
    Sep 15 '15 at 16:26
  • 1
    @bart-leby: serving, and preparing to serve, are different things. Sep 15 '15 at 17:13

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