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Unit 120. By and until. By the time...




Unit 120; Part A


120.1.jpggalka.jpgBy (+ a time) = not later than:

   •    I sent the letter to them today, so they should receive it by Monday.
        (= on or before Monday, not later than Monday)
   •    We'd better hurry. We have to be home by 5 o'clock.
        (= at or before 5 o'clock, not later than 5 o'clock)
   •    Where's Sarah? She should be here by now.
        (= now or before now - so she should have already arrived)


Unit 120; Part B

galka.jpgWe use until (or till) to say how long a situation continues:
120.2.jpg
Compare until and by:
Something continues until a time in the future:
   •    David will be away until Monday.

        (so he'll be back on Monday)
Something happens by a time in the future:
   •    David will be back by Monday.
        (= he'll be hack not later than Monday)
   •    I'll be working until 11.30.
       (so I'll stop working at 11.30)
   •    I'll have finished my work by 11.30.
        (= I'll finish my work not later than 11.30.)

Unit 120; Part C


galka.jpgYou can say 'by the time something happens'. Study these examples:

   •    It's too late to go to the bank now. By the time we get there, it will be closed.

        (= the bank will close between now and the time we get there)
   •   
(from a postcard)  Our holiday ends tomorrow. So by the time you receive this postcard, I'll be back home.

        (= I will arrive home between tomorrow and the time you receive this postcard)
   •    Hurry up! By the time we get to the cinema, the film will already have started.

You can say 'by the time something happened'
(for the past):
   •    Karen's car broke down on the way to the party last night. By the time she arrived, most of the other guests had left.
       (= it took her a long time to get to the party and most of the guests left during this time)
   •    I had a lot of work to do yesterday evening. I was very tired by the time I finished.

       (= it took me a long time to do the work, and I became more and more tired during this time)
   •    We went to the cinema last night. It took us a long time to find somewhere to park the car. By the time we got to the cinema, the film had already started.

Also by then or by that time:
   •    Karen finally arrived at the party at midnight, but by then
(or by that time), most of the
guests had left.



Exercises

flag.jpgMake sentences with by.
Key.2    I have to be at the airport by 8.30.
3    Let me know by Saturday whether you can come to the party.
4    Please make sure that you're here by 2 o'clock.
5    If we leave now, we should arrive by lunchtime.


1    We have to be home not later than 5 o'clock.
      We have to be home by 5 o'clock.   
2    I have to be at the airport not later than 8.30.
      I have to be at the airport ___________________________
3    Let me know not later than Saturday whether you can come to the party.
      Let me know ________________________________________
4    Please make sure that you're here not later than 2 o'clock.
      Please make sure that _______________________________
5    If we leave now, we should arrive not later than lunchtime.
      If we leave now, _____________________________________

flag.jpgPut in by or until.
Key.2    by   
3    by   
4    until   
5    until 5.30 ... by now
6    by   
7    until   
8    by   
9    by   
10  until   
11  By   
12  by


1    Steve has gone away. He'll be away    until     Monday.
2    Sorry, but I must go. I have to be home ___________ 5 o'clock.
3    I've been offered a job. I haven't decided yet whether to accept it or not. I have to decide ___________ Friday.
4    I think I'll wait ___________ Thursday before making a decision.
5    It's too late to go shopping. The shops are open only ___________ 5.30. They'll be closed ___________ now.
6    I'd better pay the phone bill. It has to be paid ___________ tomorrow.
7    Don't pay the bill today. Wait ___________ tomorrow.
8    A: Have you finished redecorating your house?
      B: Not yet. We hope to finish ___________ the end of the week.
9    A: I'm going out now. I'll be back at about 10.30. Will you still be here?
      B: I don't think so. I'll probably have gone out ___________ then.
10  I'm moving into my new flat next week. I'm staying with a friend ___________ then.
11  I've got a lot of work to do. ___________ the time I finish, it will be time to go to bed.
12  If you want to take part in the competition, you have to apply ___________ 3 April.

flag.jpgUse your own ideas to complete these sentences. Use by or until.
Key.Example answers:
3    until I come back
4    by 5 o'clock
5    by next Friday
6    until midnight


1    David is away at the moment. He'll be away    until Monday   .   
2    David is away at the moment. He'll be back     by Monday     .   
3    I'm just going out. I won't be very long. Wait here _________________.
4    I'm going out to buy a few things. It's 4.30 now. I won't be long. I'll be back _________________.
5    If you want to apply for the job, your application must be received _________________.
6    Last night I watched TV _________________.
flag.jpgRead the situations and complete the sentences using By the time ... .
Key.2    By the time I got to the station / By the time I'd got to the station
3    By the time I finished (my work) / By the time I'd finished (my work)
4    By the time the police arrived / By the time the police had arrived
5    By the lime we got to the top / By the time we'd got to the top


1    I was invited to a party, but I got there much later than I intended.
      By the time I got to the party, most of the other guests had left.
2    I intended to catch a train, but it took me longer than expected to get to the station.
      ___________________________, my train had already left.
3    I wanted to go shopping after finishing my work. But I finished much later than expected.
      ___________________________, it was too late to go shopping.
4    I saw two men who looked as if they were trying to steal a car. I called the police, but it was some time before they arrived.
      ___________________________, the two men had disappeared.
5    We climbed a mountain and it took us a very long time to get to the top. There wasn't much time to enjoy the view.       ___________________________, we had to come down again.


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