Basic US 220 Folder Collection
After playing the video, you can click or select the word to look it up in the dictionary.
Report Subtitle Errors
Wanna speak real English from your first
lesson? Sign up for your free lifetime

account at
Hi, everybody! My name is Alisha. Welcome
back to our EnglishClass Channel.
Today we're gonna be talking about the

difference between "by" and "until." So
let's get started!

Okay, so first we're gonna talk about "by."
"By" marks a deadline for an action to finish.

"By" marks the point where an action
completes or is replaced by another

action, so really think about using "by" to
express a deadline; something is going to

stop, or you must finish an action at
this point in time. So we can think about

"by" as marking some point in the future.
So "by" mark some point in the future

where an action is going to finish, an
action is going to be completed. So in an

example sentence I have,
I'll be at the office by 7 pm.

So in this sentence, the
speaker is not at the office, but 7 pm
is the deadline, this is the point in

time at which the speaker will be at the
office. The speaker is not at the office now,

but by 7 pm, by the 7 pm deadline,
the speaker will be at the office.

This "will" shows us this is a future tense
expression, and "by" shows us the deadline,

the point at which that expression or
the point at which that action is going

to be completed. So this is how we use "by,"
to think about it like a deadline at

some point in time at which an action
will be completed or finished.

Okay, so let's continue on to the other grammar
point for today, which is "until."

"Until" also has a more casual form, we can use
"till" or " 'til". You might

see both spellings used for "until," till or
'til. In most cases, it's good to use "until."

In casual speaking and maybe in casual
writing, you can use the casual form, but

"until" is always polite and is always
correct. Okay, so when we use "until," let's

talk about when to use "until." We use
"until" to talk about a continuing

situation or a continuing state now in
the present or in the future, but it's

going to change or stop, so the key
difference, one key difference here,

perhaps, is a continuing situation, a
continuing state. With "by," the nuance is a

deadline something is going to finish at
a deadline; here, however, "until" gives us

the nuance of something that's
continuing, something true now, for

example, but that may not be true in the
future. "Until" marks the point where that

action or that state is going to finish
or change.

Okay, so we can think of it rather
than as a deadline, as a key point in the

future, somewhere where action A
continues until a point where we use

"until," and then a second action begins.
Something is going to change at the

"until" point. With "by," however, we don't
have the nuance of an action changing, we

only have the nuance of a deadline, so
here "until" is used to show that

something different is going to happen,
or something will finish but

there's going to be a change after the
the "until" point. So, for example, this sentence,

very similar to the "by" example sentence, is:
I'll be at the office until 7 pm.

So here we have the future tense,
I'll, I will, I'll be at the office until 7 pm.

This sentence shows us the
speaker is at the office right now,

however, at 7 pm, "until" shows us that
7 pm is the point at which the

situation or this state is going to
change, so at 7 pm, the speaker is

probably going to leave the office. "Until"
shows us that right here, the action or

the state is going to change, so please
keep that in mind.

"Until" shows you a change in something;
"by" shows more of a deadline for an action that is continuing.

So I hope that we can practice this in a few example sentences now. Okay!
So let's try to choose the correct word to use in these example sentences.
Should we use "by" or should we use "until"
in these cases? So the first one I have is:

He has to find a new job ____ March.
So in this case, we see a point in time, we can think about it, should we use "by" or "until" here? If we use "by,"
we see that the deadline, the deadline
nuance, matches here.

He has to find a new job by March.
If we use "until,"
he has to find a new job until March, there's no

information in this sentence that shows
us a hint or that gives us a hint about

how the action is going to change. "Until"
does not make sense for this question, so

we should use "by" in this case.
He has to find a new job by March is the correct

answer for this sentence. In the second

I'm not going to go to bed ____ I finish this movie.
So in this sentence, we have, at the end,
I finish this movie,

so there's some action,
maybe that's continuing here, and we have

another action. I'm not going to go to
bed, in this case, it's a negative, so

there are two actions here, this is a
pretty good hint that there's an action

that's going to change at some point
instead of the nuance of a deadline. So

for the sentence, "until" is the best answer.
I'm not going to go to bed until I finish this movie.
This shows us that at this point,
the point where I finish the movie, I'm

going to go to bed.
This marks the change in the continuing

state or the continuing situation. So the
next sentence is:

They need to write their reports _____ tomorrow.
So this sentence, there's no change in the
sentence, we don't have any hints about
some kind of different action that's

going to happen, instead we have maybe
what seems to be a deadline, some

requirement here, too. So if we try to use
"until" it doesn't make sense, there's no

changing action, we can't guess about
what might happen in the future or a

change that might happen. So "by" is the
best answer here.

They need to write their reports by tomorrow.
Tomorrow is the deadline.
So we can guess that tomorrow is the deadline here, "by" shows us that it's the deadline in this case
for this task. Alright! Let's take a look
at something a little bit different. Here we have,

We can't leave the house ____ your mother calls.
So again there are two situations,
there are two actions involved in this sentence.

we have "leave the house" and "your mother calls" (makes a phone call). So because there are two
actions here, we can guess that there's
some change that's going to happen, so

because we learned that "until" marks a
change in actions, we know that "until" is

the better answer here. Okay.
We can't leave the house until your mother calls
would be the correct sentence here.
Alright! So let's look at the next

sentence though, this one is a tricky
sentence, this one is a little bit difficult, we have:

I'm not going to be there ____ 8 pm.
So here we have 8 pm at the end of a sentence, which looks like a deadline, right?
We have going to be there.
So should we use "by" or "until" for this sentence?
It's difficult because, actually, both are okay for this sentence.
I'm not going to be there by 8 pm is correct, and
I'm not going to be there until 8 pm is also correct.
However, the meanings are very different.
Just as we practiced in these two

sentences, I'll be at the office until,
I'll be at the office by 7 pm,

the same is true here.
I'm not going to be there by 8 pm
means I'm not going to be there at 8 pm,
it's not possible for me, I can't go.

However, I'm not going to be there until 8 pm,
this sentence means,

after 8 pm, or beginning at 8 pm and after, I'm going to be there. So please, be careful.
In some cases, both "by" and "until"
are correct but they change the meaning

of the sentence.
Okay, let's continue to another example.

So the next example sentence is also a
little bit difficult, it's:

If my date doesn't arrive ____ 7 pm, I'm leaving.
Okay, so here, we have, we do have two actions,
"doesn't arrive," my date doesn't arrive, a

negative point, and "I'm leaving." So it
seems like there are two actions here.

However, we have this 7 pm, this marks a
deadline, right? So if my date doesn't

arrive, there's some deadline here, if
this is not completed, something is going

to happen, the person is going to leave.
So in this case, 7 pm is showing a

deadline, so we have to use "by."
If my date doesn't arrive until 7 pm.
We could use that, but it doesn't
sound so natural, so the nuance, again,

here is of a deadline, there's something
that is going to happen at 7 pm.

7 pm marks the endpoint in this
situation, so we use "by" here.

Okay, let's go to the next pair, again, these are very interesting points.
We have to leave the beach ____ 10 am.
And, we have to stay at the beach ____ 10 am.

Okay, so these two sentences, I included because I
wanted to show the emphasis of changing
actions and continuing actions, so we can

see the verbs are different here. In the
first sentence, we have "leave" so this is

a change, leaving a location; in the
second sentence, I have "stay" which shows

a continuing action, stay in one place.
So here, as you can guess then,

We have to leave the beach ____ 10 am.
Some change, some deadline, so we'll use "by" to show our deadline.
In the second sentence, we have to stay at the beach, stay shows a continuing action,
and then it's going to finish here, so we'll use "until."
we have to stay at the beach until 10 am.
This shows us a continuing action, and maybe at 10 am we'll leave the beach.
Alright! Let's go on to the next sentence.
I'm not going to travel abroad ____ I learn English.
Okay, so here there's no time point, there's no 10 am,
8 pm, tomorrow, and so on, so this is a

little more complex, maybe. We have "travel
abroad" and "learn English," so it seems

there's no real deadline here, but we
have, maybe, a change, maybe this shows us

some kind of change. Learning English marks a change.
So, I'm not going to travel abroad until
I learn English.

This shows us that something different is going to happen in the future, so we should use "until" to
mark that change. Okay, our last example
sentence for today is,

We told him to wake up ____ 6 am.
So, once more, our last sentence may be a little bit simple, but 6 am shows us an action, sort of this
deadline, you can see a lot of these use
a time to mark a deadline for an action.

So here, we told him to wake up by 6 am.
This is the point at which something
must happen, so we should use "by."
Ok! Great! So those are a few examples sentences that you can have a look at and think about
when you're trying to decide whether to use "by" or "until." Keep in mind, however, there are some cases
where both "by" or "until" are correct, but
the meaning is going to change

significantly depending on the one you
use. So I hope this lesson was useful for

you, if you have any questions or if you
want to try to make an example sentence

using"by" or "until," please be sure to
leave us a comment. If you liked this

video, too, please be sure to hit the thumbs
up and subscribe to our channel if you

haven't already. Thanks very much for
watching this episode, and we will see

you again soon. Bye!
    You must Log in to get the function.
Tip: Click on the article or the word in the subtitle to get translation quickly!


Difference between “By” and “Until” - Learn English Grammar

220 Folder Collection
More Recommended Videos


  1. 1. Search word

    Select word on the caption to look it up in the dictionary!

  2. 2. Repeat single sentence

    Repeat the same sentence to enhance listening ability

  3. 3. Shortcut


  4. 4. Close caption

    Close the English caption

  5. 5. Embed

    Embed the video to your blog

  6. 6. Unfold

    Hide right panel

  1. Listening Quiz

    Listening Quiz!

  1. Click to open your notebook

  1. UrbanDictionary 俚語字典整合查詢。一般字典查詢不到你滿意的解譯,不妨使用「俚語字典」,或許會讓你有滿意的答案喔