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Difference Between Until and Unless

Until vs Unless

A conjunction is a word or an idiomatic phrase that is used to connect two words, phrases, sentences, or clauses. There are several types of conjunctions:

Coordinating conjunctions, which join two or more items of the same syntactic weight. Examples are the words for, and, but, or, and so.
Correlative conjunctions, which are pairs that coordinate two things. Examples are either/or, both/and, whether/or, and neither/nor.
Subordinating conjunctions, which introduce a separate clause. Examples are the words because, than, even if, after, although, while, since, though, until, and unless.

The word “until” is a conjunction that is used to refer to the time that took place or passed before an event or incident. It is also used to signify a condition such as the case when one says, “You cannot watch television until you finish washing the dishes.”

It means “up to the time” or “till the time.” It can be used as a preposition, for example: Brenda did not arrive until the seminar was almost over. It is also used to show one’s aim of finishing a job or task even if there are things that makes accomplishing it difficult. The word “until” comes from the Old English word “end” which was first used in the 13th century.

The word “unless,” on the other hand, is a conjunction that is used to refer to a condition which makes the event or incident that precedes it impossible. It has the same connotation as the words “if” and “except.” An example is this sentence: Unless you give me the money, I am not going to give you the shoes.

It means “under the circumstances” and is used to refer to the act of choosing one thing over another. It is a conditional word that provides an option of doing or choosing between two things. It is also used to refer to the need for one thing to happen in order for another to also happen.

Examples are the following sentences:

Unless you let him have the dog, he will not go away.
The door will not open unless you remove the nail that Andrew had put on it.
The word “unless” comes from the mid 16th century word “onlesse” which was derived from the phrase “on lesse” (than) meaning “on a less condition than” which was later changed to “unless” due to its negative connotation.


1.“Until” is a conjunction that is used to refer to the time that took place before an incident while the word “unless” is a conjunction that is used in the same manner as the words “if” and “except.”
2.“Until” means “up to the time” while “unless” means “under the circumstances.”
3.The word “until” comes from the Old English word “end” and was first used in the 13th century while the word “unless” comes from the word “onlesse” which was later changed to “unless.”
4.Both have conditional connotations while “until” shows how one tries to do something despite hardships while “unless” provides an option between doing one thing over another and of doing something so that another thing may also happen.

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  1. Keep working…………you get tired.


    Most people say that all the answers are correct.
    I want to know the reason as to why all the answers are correct.

  2. More confused after looking this….too bad!

  3. Good website for better learning

  4. It is really a helpful article for new learner.So ,many many thanks.

  5. Unless

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