Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference between Before and until

Before you understand the differences between the words “before” and “until”, you will need to read up until the end of this article.  Hopefully before you finish reading, you will begin to make clear in your mind the instances where you can use “before” and “until.”

Don’t forget that before you begin to use these words in your own writing, you must first practice up until you are getting the hang of it. Just make sure that before you get someone to help you with your work, you are sure that they understand they cannot leave until they finish helping you with your essay/report, etc.

There are many instances where you may get confused if you are new to this topic.  Just keep going and you will begin to make sense of everything before it’s too late and your homework is due.  It will not be until that time where you will really need these skills.

The best way to drill these concepts into your head is repeatedly use them over and over until it is second nature and before you know it, you won’t even think about it.  You’ll just do it automatically.

Let’s look at the definition and examples of each word before moving further:

Before:

Before an event, person, thing, or place in time

Before can be used as a preposition, an adverb or a conjunction.

Preposition:

Previous to; earlier or sooner than

Let’s go for a walk before noon.

Call me before 8pm.

In front of; ahead of; in advance of

She stood before the gate gazing inwards.

In preference to; rather than

They would die before surrendering.

In precedence of, as in order of rank

I put health before wealth.

In the presence or sight of:

He appeared before his peers.

Less than; until: used in indicating the exact time:

It’s 10 before 5.

Adverb:

 In front; in advance; ahead:.

The king marched with his army marching before.

In time preceding; previously:

If we’d of known that, we would never have come.

Earlier or sooner:

Meet me at six o’clock, not before.

Conjunction:

Previous to the time when:

Send the email before we leave

Sooner than; rather than:

Death before dishonor

Until:

Up to a certain time or event takes place, or before a certain time or event.

“Until” can be used as a preposition or conjunction.

Preposition Examples:

He can’t leave town before Friday

We danced until dawn

Please stay here until I get back

Just wait until the movie is over

I will write these articles until 6 o’clock

Conjunction Examples:

You cannot leave until your work is finished.

We drove until it got dark.

He spoke until his throat was sore.

Please don’t talk to me until I’m off the phone

We studied until it was time to go to work

Sentence examples:

The renters would be there until Easter, when they planned to go back up north.

He would make the trip on foot, but not before he got some sleep.

Let’s wait until Dad gets home and make it a family event.

Let us go before the king and state our concerns.

They watched The Walking Dead all night until the sun came up.

It is important to put health before wealth.

How long will it be until we know if it’s a girl or a boy?

Jonathan watched Alex, his expression both anxious and enthused as Alex rode the horse until it settled down.

In conclusion the words “before” and “until” can commonly be mixed up by new English students.  “Until” is always used to describe what is happening up until a certain event or time takes place.  “Before” is always used to describe what is happening before a certain time or event takes place.

Remember that repetition is the mother of all skills.  Drill it, drill it, drill it and before you know it, you’ll get it!


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