Difference Between Until and As long As (With Table)

Until vs As long As

The words until and as long as are commonly used in our day-to-day life to indicate something related to a particular time. Both of these words could be mistakenly used interchangeably sometimes.

While ‘until’ is a word, ‘as long as’ is a phrase. The word ‘until’ denotes or is used to refer to a particular time, while the phrase ‘as long as’ is used to refer to a particular duration of time.

The word ‘until’ speaks generally of a future event or condition, while ‘as long as’ talks more of a present action or condition. While ‘until’ simply indicates any point of time in the future, ‘as long as’ has some conditional element to it.

The main difference between until and as long as is that while ‘until’ can be used as a preposition as well as a conjunction, ‘as long as’ can be used as a conjunction and in some cases as an idiom.


Parameter of ComparisonUntilAs long as
MeaningThe word until is used to refer or indicate up to a certain time limit or before it.The phrase is used to mean something that continues the whole time or also means provided that.
DerivativeThe word is derived from the two old Scandinavian syllables- un and till- which had the same meaning.The word long derives its origin from the Old English and Dutch words lang or longus.
UsageThe word ‘until’ is used as a preposition as well as conjunction according to the meaning of the sentence.The phrase ‘as long as’ can be used as a conjunction between sentences or even as an idiom sometimes.
SynonymsMany other words have a similar meaning to that of ‘until’ like: till, up to, up until, prior to, in advance of, etc.Many other words have a similar meaning to that of ‘as long as’ like, because of, in as much as, all in all, in light of, etc.
Examples· We sang songs until dawn.
· She will not be able to leave the hostel until Friday.
· I can stay here as long as the program ends.
· As long as you study, you can clear the exams.

 

When to Use the Word Until?

The word ‘until’ means up to a certain time limit. The word ‘till’ is derived from the Old English term, Proto-Germanic term, ‘tila’ which meant ‘a planned point in time’ and many more Swedish, Gothic and German words which meant the same.

The word ‘till’ is by far considered to be colloquial in Modern English and has been often replaced by ‘until’ and ‘to’.  The word ‘until’ is used as a preposition as well as a conjunction.

The word ‘until’ can be used as a preposition always followed by a noun to indicate a certain happening up to a particular point of time and then stopping. It can be used as a preposition in the following two sense:

  • To indicate that if something happens up to a certain time, it will happen before that time and will end at that time.

Examples:

  1. Until 2020, he was the commander in the army.
  2. We shared our things until he came.
  • Used with a negative to emphasize a condition after which the statement will become true.
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Examples:

  1. The New Act won’t take effect until the end of this financial year.
  2. It was not until 1999 that a new breed of parasites was found.

The word ‘until’ can also be used as a conjunction to indicate a time up to the event mentioned earlier. For example, ‘I will stay with her until her mom comes back’.

Until
 

When to Use the Phrase As long As?

The term ‘as long as’ also sometimes substituted as, ‘so long as’, is used to mean a specific duration of plan or idea, often in the future. The future action is always indicated in the present simple form, after the word ‘as long as’ is used.

The word ‘long’ finds its origin from the Old English words like ‘lang’ which means “having a great linear extent that extends from end to end”, or even from old Proto-Germanic words like ‘Langa’ which has similar meanings.

The phrase ‘as long as’ is used as a conjunction between sentences. This phrase has been used at different times to mean the following:

  • To put the condition of time on action.

Examples:

  1. The car will keep on running as long as you fill it with petrol.
  2. I will look after her kids as long as she does not come back.
  • To indicate that ‘if something is provided’

Examples:

  1. My mother has been a regular visitor to this clinic as long as I remember.
  2. She will take care of me as long as she can.
  • To denote that a certain condition has to be met.

Examples: As long as he promises to be careful, I’ll let him ride my new car.

As long As

Main Differences Between Until and As long As

  1. The word ‘until’ is used as a preposition as well as a conjunction, while ‘as long as’ can be used as a conjunction and sometimes, even as an idiom.
  2. The main difference between until and as long as is that while ‘until’ talks about a future event, ‘as long as’ talks a present condition or action.
  3. ‘Until’ specifies the time up to a certain point in the future, while ‘as long as’ focuses more on the duration of the time between two events.
  4. ‘Until’ is usually used to refer to a period that will come to an end when something happens or someone does something or maybe not, while ‘as long as’ refers to a time that is conditional and would happen on the acceptance of a situation or condition.
  5. The word ‘until’ can be used as a conjunction to mean ‘up to that time’, ‘before’, and ‘to the point that’, while the word ‘as long as’ can be used to mean ‘during that time’, ‘since’, or ‘on the condition that’.


 

Conclusion

Both the words ‘until’ and ‘as long as’ is related and can be used to mean a particular time in consideration. While, ‘until’ usually talks concerning a future event, ‘as long as’ is used about a present ongoing action.

Also, while ‘until’ can be used as a conjunction and a preposition, ‘as long as’ is frequently used conjunction. These words have many synonyms that are sometimes used interchangeably.


 

Word Cloud for Difference Between Until and As long As

The following is a collection of the most used terms in this article on Until and As Long As. This should help in recalling related terms as used in this article at a later stage for you.

Until and As Long As
Word Cloud for Until and As long As

 

References

  1. http://gmat-grammar.blogspot.com/2007/11/until-vs-as-long-as.html
  2. https://www.etymonline.com/word/long