don't come back until/unless he apologizes

ticcota

Senior Member
Japanese
Hi,

E.g."My half brother tried to backstab me. I told him to get out of my house and think about what he was trying to do, and don't come back until he apologizes."

I wonder in the last part of the sentence, does it still make sense if I replace "until" with "unless", and which sentence sounds more natural, i.e.:

"..., and don't come back until he apologizes."
vs. "..., and don't come back unless he apologizes."

Thank you.
 
  • Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Both are correct, but they mean different things. You cannot just replace one word by another word with a different meaning.

    "Until" means that you expect him to apologize. When he does, he may come back. You believe that will happen. You just don't know when it will happen.

    "Unless" means that you don't know if he will apologize. If he does, he may come back. You don't know if that will happen.

    So: which meaning do you want? Choose the words that has that meaning.
     
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