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Till vs. Until: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sumera Saeed || Published on December 18, 2023
"Till" and "until" are both prepositions meaning up to the point in time or the event mentioned, but "till" is older and more informal than "until."

Key Differences

"Till" is a preposition that signifies continuation up to a point in time or event. It is often considered more informal and is used in everyday, casual speech and writing. "Until" serves the same purpose, indicating the continuation of an action or condition up to a certain point. However, "until" is more formal and is commonly found in written and formal spoken English. Both words are interchangeable in most contexts.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 18, 2023
The word "till" has been in the English language longer than "until," originating from the Old English "til." Despite its older origins, it's often mistakenly thought to be an abbreviation of "until," which is not the case. "Until" emerged later, believed to have developed from the combination of "till" and the Old Norse "und" (up to). Both convey the same temporal concept but have different historical roots.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 18, 2023
In usage, "till" is more likely to appear in informal dialogues and less formal writing. It fits well in conversational contexts and is often used in speech. "Until" is preferred in more formal writing and official documents. It tends to give sentences a slightly more formal tone than "till," but the meaning conveyed by both is the same.
Huma Saeed
Dec 18, 2023
Interestingly, "till" is sometimes perceived as less formal or less correct than "until," but this is a misconception. Both are perfectly correct and can be used in formal writing, although "until" might be the more prudent choice in very formal or official contexts. They are functionally interchangeable, and the choice between them often comes down to style or personal preference.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 18, 2023
"Till" and "until" are prepositions that indicate up to what point in time an action or situation will continue. "Till" is older and more informal, while "until" is a bit more formal and common in written English. Their meanings are identical, and they can often be used interchangeably without altering the sentence's meaning.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 18, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Formality

More informal.
More formal.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 18, 2023

Usage

Common in everyday speech and informal writing.
Preferred in formal writing and speech.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 18, 2023

Historical Origin

Older, from Old English "til."
Developed later, from "till" and Old Norse "und."
Sumera Saeed
Dec 18, 2023

Perception

Sometimes incorrectly seen as less correct.
Often perceived as more correct or formal.
Janet White
Dec 18, 2023

Function

Indicates continuation to a point in time.
Same as "till," showing continuation to a time/event.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 18, 2023
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Till and Until Definitions

Till

It is used to denote the duration up to a specific time.
She studied till midnight.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

Until

Until functions as a preposition and a conjunction.
The team will continue to practice until they perfect the routine.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 08, 2023

Till

Till can indicate a condition lasting up to a certain event.
Keep the door closed till everyone arrives.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

Until

Until marks the end point of an action or condition.
He didn't realize it was late until the clock struck twelve.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 08, 2023

Till

Till is a conjunction as well as a preposition.
I won't stop till I succeed.
Harlon Moss
Dec 08, 2023

Until

Until means continuing to a specified time or event.
Stay here until I get back.
Huma Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

Till

It's often used in informal contexts.
I can't come out till I finish my chores.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

Until

It is used in formal writing and speaking.
The office remains closed until further notice.
Janet White
Dec 08, 2023

Till

Till means up to the point in time or event mentioned.
Wait here till I return.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

Until

Up to the time of
We danced until dawn.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Until

Before (a specified time)
She can't leave until Friday.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Until

(Scots) Unto; to.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Until

Up to the time that
We walked until it got dark.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Until

Before
You cannot leave until your work is finished.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Until

To the point or extent that
I talked until I was hoarse. See Usage Note at till2.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Until

Up to the time of (something happening).
If you can wait until after my meeting with her, we'll talk then.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Until

Up to (a certain place)
Sumera Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Until

Before (a time).
Sumera Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Until

(obsolete) To; physically towards.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Until

Up to the time that (a condition becomes true).
Sumera Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Until

Before (a condition becoming true).
Sumera Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Until

To; unto; towards; - used of material objects.
Taverners until them told the same.
He roused himself full blithe, and hastened them until.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Until

To; up to; till; before; - used of time; as, he staid until evening; he will not come back until the end of the month.
He and his sons were priests to the tribe of Dan until the day of the captivity.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Until

It is often preferred in official or academic contexts.
The application process is open until the end of the month.
Harlon Moss
Dec 08, 2023

FAQs

Do till and until have the same meaning?

Yes, both indicate continuation up to a specific point in time or event.
Janet White
Dec 18, 2023

Can till be used in formal writing?

Yes, though until is often preferred in very formal contexts.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 18, 2023

Is until more correct than till?

No, both are equally correct; the choice depends on formality and preference.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 18, 2023

Is till an abbreviation of until?

No, till is not an abbreviation; it's actually the older word.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 18, 2023

Can till be used in academic writing?

Yes, but until may be preferable depending on the style guide.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 18, 2023

Are there contexts where till should not be used?

In very formal or official documents, until might be more appropriate.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 18, 2023

Can till and until be used at the beginning of a clause?

Yes, they can both introduce dependent clauses.
Harlon Moss
Dec 18, 2023

Are till and until interchangeable?

Yes, they can be used interchangeably without changing the meaning.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 18, 2023

Is the use of till informal?

It's considered more informal than until, but it's not incorrect.
Janet White
Dec 18, 2023

Is till used more in spoken language?

Yes, till is more common in everyday speech.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 18, 2023

Can I start a sentence with till or until?

Yes, both can start a sentence when used as conjunctions.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 18, 2023

Is there a difference in pronunciation between till and until?

No, their pronunciation is straightforward and similar.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 18, 2023

Do till and until have different connotations?

No, their connotations are the same; the difference lies in formality.
Harlon Moss
Dec 18, 2023

Can until be shortened to 'til?

'Til is often used informally, but it's not a standard contraction of until.
Janet White
Dec 18, 2023

Are there any exceptions to using till and until interchangeably?

No major exceptions; their interchangeability is quite consistent.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 18, 2023

Can till be replaced with until in poetry?

Yes, but poets may choose one over the other for rhythm or rhyme.
Janet White
Dec 18, 2023

Should I avoid using till in business communication?

It's not necessary to avoid till, but until may be more suitable for formal business communication.
Harlon Moss
Dec 18, 2023

Do till and until have different origins?

Yes, till comes from Old English, while until combines till with Old Norse influences.
Harlon Moss
Dec 18, 2023

Does the usage of till vary by region?

Yes, its usage can vary, with some regions preferring until.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 18, 2023

Is until a newer word than till?

Yes, until developed later than till.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 18, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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