from January through May of 1919

thtoan79

Senior Member
Vietnamese
Hello dears,

I'm learning US foreign policy and my teacher used this phrase "from January through May of 1919" when she referred to the time of Paris conference, so, I'm not sure about what she means by that phrase, does it mean "from January to the end of May of 1919" or "from January, throughout May, and continue to last till the next month of 1919"? I have googled this and the period of time for Paris Peace conference is from January to June of 1919. Have I missed something?

Thank you for considering this.
 
Last edited:
  • suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Since you know when the conference ended you know it means all through the month of May, but without that information I would have been confused by this wording too.

    Sometimes words need further information to clarify their exact meaning.
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    In American English, "from January through May" means January, February, March, April and May. This avoids the confusion that can arise from saying "from January to May," which AE speakers can interpret as ending in April.

    I don't think British English speakers use the word "through" in this way.
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    From January to May (BE) is still ambiguous as to whether it means to the beginning or end of May.
    The use of through (AE) is something that I have to think about whenever I read it.
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    All phrases like "from January through May" and “From January to May” and “Between January and May” are approximate and are designed to be understood as approximate. There is no more possibility of knowing exactly when the period started than knowing how many people there were when I tell you the “Some people are unhappy.”

    The phrases are used when the time period itself has only a limited importance: in this respect, they do a good job.
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    The phrases are used when the time period itself has only a limited importance: in this respect, they do a good job.
    In this case, though, it would appear that the teacher means that some significant change took place between May and the end of the conference.
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    In this case, though, it would appear that the teacher means that some significant change took place between May and the end of the conference.
    In which case, the important point is the change, not the length of the conference. ;)
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    In which case, the important point is the change, not the length of the conference. ;)
    The important time point is when the change took place and in that connection, it is open to the supporters of 'through' to claim greater precision.
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    In American English, "from January through May" means January, February, March, April and May. This avoids the confusion that can arise from saying "from January to May," which AE speakers can interpret as ending in April.
    I personally render 'through' as used in AE by saying 'from January to the end of May'.;)
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    I'm learning US foreign policy and my teacher used this phrase "from January through May of 1919" when she referred to the time of Paris conference, so, I'm not sure about what she means by that phrase, does it mean "from January to the end of May of 1919" or "from January, throughout May, and continue to last till the next month of 1919"? I have googled this and the period of time for Paris Peace conference is from January to June of 1919. Have I missed something?

    Thank you for considering this.
    From Wikipedia
    The [Paris Peace] Conference opened on 18 January 1919 [and] … came to an end on 21 January 1920 … The following treaties were prepared at the Paris Peace Conference:
    the Treaty of Versailles, 1919, 28 June 1919, ...
    Your teacher seems to have been referring to the time between the start of the Paris Peace Conference and the the signing of the Treaty of Versailles that was to play a major role in the outbreak of WWII and which was the first treaty to emerge.

    Given this, "from January through May of 1919" is grammatically correct (mainly AE, rarely BE) but factually incorrect unless the context of what she was saying made it correct. It is therefore not a good example of the use of "through" as the timing is not available
     
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