Until vs Till: Difference and Comparison

Many people are unaware of the brevity present in English. Brevity is a virtue of English that means conciseness and exact usage of words in speech or writing.

Key Takeaways

  1. “Until” and “till” are both used to indicate the point before something will not happen or a particular action will not be taken.
  2. “Until” is used in formal or written contexts, whereas “till” is used more informally or in spoken language.
  3. The difference between “until” and “till” is mostly a matter of preference, and the two have no significant difference in meaning.

Until vs Till

’till’ is much older than until. It is approximately several hundred years older than until. Both ‘until’ and ’till’ have the same meaning, and both words are correct. They indicate for how long something will happen or when something will start or end. Both of them can be used interchangeably. They are the prepositions used to describe time.

Until vs Till

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Until means for how long something will occur or when will a particular thing start or end. Until it came later in existence.

Till means for how long something will occur or when a particular thing will start or end. Till is an older word used from several years before until.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonUntilTill
MeaningUntil means up to the period of the event mentioned.Till means to the point mentioned or up to a specific topic.
Usage structureUntil + periodTill + period
Till + subordinate clause
Used asPreposition, ConjunctionPreposition, Noun, verb
Tense usedPast simple, past perfectPresent perfect, Past simple, past perfect
Nature of speechMore formalLess formal

What is Until?

Until’ is used in cases where we have to show the time when a situation or an activity ends. This happens when a senior or elder gives you work to do and also gives a deadline for it.

‘Until’ refers to the period where a speaker says something to the point mentioned in their speech. For example, Mrs Usha has been injured and won’t come to the office until next Friday.

Until usage never goes wrong. One can ensure the correctness of their speech with the use of until, whether it be formal letters, speeches, invitations, casual conversations, or anything, the usage of ‘until’ justifies the sense of the statement.


What is Till?

Till also has the same meaning as until. ‘Till’ is used more in casual conversation. People adapt it as it is easy to pronounce and have a single syllable.

Using till in a formal conversation can lead people to mistake you for being casual, as many people don’t know the difference between till and until. Till can be used as an alternative for until.

Till can be used in place of until and retains the original meaning of the sentence.


Main Differences Between Until and Till

  1. ‘Until’ came into existence several hundred years later than ’till.’
  2. ‘Until’ is used in formal speeches, while ’till’ is considered less formal. This may be because many are mistaken for a short form of until.
Difference Between Until and Till
  1. http://robfelty.com/design/archives/corpusconference/abstracts/abstract37.pdf 
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Yishai-Tobin/publication/237459697_Till_vs_Until_A_Sign-Oriented_Approach/links/5411a0600cf29e4a2329735e/Till-vs-Until-A-Sign-Oriented-Approach.pdf  

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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