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By or until?

We use until for an activity that will continue up to a certain moment in the future. We use by for the finish of the activity before a certain moment.

A pigeon is looking through a window at a row of birds being cooked.

By the time he arrived all his friends had been cooked.

We use by about an action or event that will happen before a certain moment. The focus is on the finish of the activity.
• Please have it finished by the deadline.
• I will arrive in the city by Friday.

We use until for an activity that will continue up to a certain moment in the future. The focus is on the continuing of the activity.
• I’m staying in the city until June.
• I will keep working until I have finished.

Remember: By for the finish of the activity. Until for the continuing activity.
  • Exercise 1

    Remember: By for the finish of the activity. Until for the continuing activity.

    Use by or until to complete the sentences.

    Remember: By for the finish of the activity. Until for the continuing activity.

    Use by or until to complete the sentences.

  • Remember: By for the finish of the activity. Until for the continuing activity.

    I will have to keep digging until all the snow is cleared.

     A man is digging out his car from very deep snow.

  • Vocabulary Video Lesson: Ghosts & Spirits
    This vocabulary lesson will help you define ghost, spirit, spooky, demon, evil, haunted, phantom, poltergeist and guardian angel. (8:00)

    If you only have two minutes then do this lesson.
    So am I (2:00)