Difference Between Till and Until

Main Difference – Till vs. Until

Till and until are two of the most frequently used words in the English language. These two words have the same meaning and can be used interchangeably. Both words mean up to a point in time. However, there is a subtle difference between till and until based on their usage. The main difference between these two prepositions is that till is not accepted as correct by many Americans whereas until is universally accepted as correct. Until is considered more formal than till.

Till – Meaning and Usage

Till is a preposition that means up to the time of. It has been in the usage for longer than until. However, this preposition is more used in British English as many Americans believe that till is incorrect. Some people, especially Americans use ‘til instead of till, but most style guides advice against this usage. According to Oxford dictionary, till is a less formal way of saying until and till occurs less frequently in writing. However, when till is used as a preposition or a conjunction, there is not much difference between till and until. Look at the examples below to see how till is used in sentences.

He didn’t reveal the secret recipe till the last moment.

He gave them time till tomorrow.

Everybody respected him till he started drinking.

He waited till sunset to come out of hiding.

….till death do us part.

Difference between till and until

He waited till dawn to take his boat out.

Until –Meaning and Usage

Until is a preposition and a conjunction that means up to a certain point or time. This can be used interchangeably with till. Contrary to the popular belief, till is not derived from until, rather, until is derived from adding the prefix Un to “till”. Until can be used anywhere in a sentence, but it is more appropriate to use until at the beginning of a sentence.(instead of till)

Until very recently, there was still a chance of rescuing the situation.

You don’t know what you can do until you try.

Keep stirring the solution until it starts foaming.

He was the chairman of the company until his death.

If you are not sure what should be used, till or until, always go with until as this is universally believed to be correct. 

till vs until

According to the law, every defendant is innocent until proven guilty.

Difference Between Till and Until

Origins

Till has been in the usage longer and is not derived from until.

Until is formed by adding prefix un to “till”.

Acceptance

Till is not accepted by many Americans.

Until is universally accepted.

Usage

Till can be seen in informal usage.

Until can be seen in both formal and informal usage.

Beginning of a sentence

Till should not be used at the beginning of a sentence.

Until should be used at the beginning of a sentence.

 

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