Do not interrupt me again until /before/unless you finish


Senior Member

Impatient with the boy's interruption, the dad brought a magazine to his son. On the cover of the magazine was a large picture of the world. The father, who was angry and bothered, began tearing the magazine cover into small pieces. then, the father turned to his boy and said, " Son, once you put this picture back together, we can play catch, but do not interrupt me again until you finish.
(Quoted from an English test paper from China)

Can "until" in the last sentence change into "before/unless"?

Many thanks!
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    English - England
    No. The sentences with before and unless do not seem to be a reasonable or likely commands.

    If you use before, the verb is "have finished."
    If you use unless, (i) the verb can be "finish" but this would mean the son would never, in his lifetime, be able to interrupt unless he had finished the puzzle. (ii) the verb can be "have finished" with the meaning of "I will know that you have finished when you interrupt me."
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