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You’re going camping and want to borrow a friend’s tent over the weekend. So you say: “Could I have it ______ Friday afternoon? We’re leaving on Friday after work.”

Until or by?

by

  • Until means from now until then.
  • By, used for deadlines, means not later than then.
  • By… at the latest!
  • Imagine: If you said “until Friday”, your friend might say “Sure, until Friday is fine. But I need it on Saturday, so can you come round on Saturday morning to drop it off?”
  • Here’s an exercise on using “until” and “by”, with a pdf.