until late afternoon

Elizabeta-L

Member
Russian - Russia
Hi everybody,

I have a question on the word "until" which seems to be a bit tricky for non-native speakers of English, but usually when a particular date/day of the week is concerned. Here I have it in a different context:

The idea for brewing with bread came when 31-year-old Frenchman Sebastien Morvan talked to a friend about food waste, specifically the bread thrown away because supermarkets, eager to offer fresh bread to shoppers all day, baked until late afternoon.

So my question is, what does the phrase "until late afternoon" mean here? Does it mean that

a) the bakers do the job in the morning, in the early afternoon (and stop when the late afternoon comes) or
b) the bakers do the job in the morning, in the early afternoon and in the late afternoon?

Perhaps given the context (it's about bakeries in Brussels) one can say that they bake the bread all day long, stopping only when the bakeries close?

Thanks in advance!

(The sentence is from http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/17/belgium-beer-bread-idUSL6N0WS2LW20150417)
 
  • Elizabeta-L

    Member
    Russian - Russia
    Thanks JamesM, but does your sentence include late afternoon? Seems I haven't explained my question properly.

    Is it like that:
    *Baker X glances at the clock* Oh, the early afternoon is over, it's late afternoon already. I better stop baking.
    or
    *Baker X glances at the clock* Oh, the late afternoon is over. I better stop baking.
     
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    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    In this particular case, I'd say "late afternoon" is included. Because in order to offer fresh bread all day, supermarkets have to bake all day, that is, until 5-6 o'clock.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    Thanks JamesM, but does it your sentence include late afternoon? Seems I haven't explained my question properly.

    Is it like that:
    *Baker X glances at the clock* Oh, the early afternoon is over, it's late afternoon already. I better stop baking.
    or
    *Baker X glances at the clock* Oh, the late afternoon is over. I better stop baking.
    :)

    They stop before it is evening but while it is still late afternoon. It is a vague description of time. If someone said "I'll be by in the late afternoon" I wouldn't expect them before 3:00 p.m. and I would expect to see them before 6:00 p.m.
     
    Welcome to WR.

    In both of your scenarios-- which really are the same to me--you present professional bakers in professional business as having no idea when their daily shut-down time is, and losing track of time as to when they can put their last loaves in to meet what must be a standard daily deadline for them, and getting surprised by "glancing up at the clock."

    Somehow I don't think that's how business people operate.:)

    Let's assume the opposite. They know that loaves require kneading, single or double risings, and baking. They would not be guessing as to when to start production, or when to stop, or when to sell the last daily products, or when to shut the shop in the early afternoon and go home. (You and I might not know what time that is, but they would.)

    So let's get precise and imagine we're explaining the process to a new employee:

    "This is our schedule. We start production at 3.00 a.m. The last loaves of the day must be in the ovens by 1:00 in the afternoon. Yes, we've got just *until that time. So your schedule is from 3 am *until 4 pm, because that's when we close."

    *until =right up that time, not one second further.

    (Of course I'm making up times, whether reasonable or not.)
     
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