I will be available by December 2019

Julieonline

Senior Member
chinese
Hi,

I saw this sentence is a resume "I am finishing my Ph.D program and will be available by December 2019."
I am confident that the applicant was trying to say he or she can start working right after December 2019.
However, the use of "by" got me confused. I feel that "available by" is more like saying "I am available now until this time and not afterwards."
As a non-native English speaker, instead of trusting my own linguistic intuitions, I ask for help from the mighty WF community :)

Thanks,
Julie
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Hi, Julie. I'm not sure what that phrase is supposed to mean, but I imagine that it means that this applicant will be ready to go to work on the first day of December in the year 2019.
     

    Julieonline

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Hi, Julie. I'm not sure what that phrase is supposed to mean, but I imagine that it means that this applicant will be ready to go to work on the first day of December in the year 2019.
    Hi Owlman 5,

    Thank you for your quick response!
    I agree with you, I also think the applicant is referring to a possible starting date.
    I am just not sure whether "be available by December 2019" is accurately conveying that meaning.
    As a native English-speaker, do you find the expression strange/confusing or clear/precise?
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    "By" never means "after". "By" means "at or before".

    If he is available "by December 1" that means he is available "on or before December 1".

    He is saying he is not sure he will be available in November,
    but he is sure he will be available in December.
     
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