Grammar Guru: until or by?

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?


  • 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.

Published by


Teaching English for business communication skills, writing online for learners, translating, sailing whenever I can, from Washington, D.C.

2 thoughts on “Grammar Guru: until or by?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>