until now

TerryWang

Senior Member
Taiwan
Dear all,

A: Did you get his message the other day?
B: No, I haven't heard from him until now.

This leads me to two conclusions:
1. He got the message just at the moment of speaking, not the other day.
2. He hasn't got the message so far.
I wish you could tell me which is right.

Thank you.
Terry
 
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  • Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Dear all,

    A: Did you get his message the other day?
    B: No, I haven't heard from him until now.

    This leads me to two conclusions:
    1. He got the message just at the moment of speaking, not the other day.
    2. He haven't hasn't got the message so far.
    I wish you could tell me which is right.
    Hi TW. It means that he got the message very recently. Can you explain why you think that it might mean that he hasn't yet got the message?
     

    TerryWang

    Senior Member
    Taiwan
    Thank you, Dimcl, for your correction. I think I am probably affected by my native language. "until now" makes me think that the speaker hasn't received by now, but he might receive somewhere in the future.

    For example:
    This is his favorite song until now. --so the next moment or tomorrow it won't be his favorite? I probably don't think so.
     
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    sasako

    Member
    German
    Hi all,

    I have got a question in this context.

    Can you explain why you think that it might mean that he hasn't yet got the message?
    I would have made the same mistake because I thought that the sentence could have meant that the message has not been received yet, too.

    How would I explain correctly that I have not yet got the message, but that I hope to get it later?
    Can you explain why you think that it might mean that he hasn't yet got the message?
    As another example:
    I've not been very involved up to now, but I still hope they will do so.

    Thank you very much
    Sasako
     

    Arrius

    Senior Member
    English, UK
    If the message was not received one could also say No, I haven't heard from him so far.
    No, I haven't heard from him until now (i.e. the message has been received) could be expressed more naturally by
    No, this is the first I've heard from him or
    No, I've only just heard from him, or again
    No, I've heard nothing from him before now.
     

    Broccolicious

    Senior Member
    English - England
    If the message was not received one could also say No, I haven't heard from him so far.
    Yes, or 'No, I haven't heard from him yet.' The implication is that I'm expecting to hear from him.

    I would change the tense in your original example, Terry:
    'I hadn't heard from him until now.' ie Now I have heard from him.

    Does that help? If it's any consolation, I get confused by the same thing in reverse in Spanish!

    Broc
     

    sasako

    Member
    German
    Thanks very much.
    In which context would you use "up to now", then? Does it have the same meaning as "until now" or are there any differences?
     

    Arrius

    Senior Member
    English, UK
    I also thought of 'I hadn't heard from him until now.' (Broccolicious), but hesitated to use the pluperfect with now (the present moment), but there can be no objection if the phrase is amended to until just now, which refers to the (very recent) past.

    Out of politeness and circumspection, I leave you to grasp sasako's potential nettle.
     
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    sasako

    Member
    German
    I am sorry if this is such a dull question. I was under the impression that it is the purpose of this forum to ask if there any questions left.
    Nevertheless, thanks for not getting rude...
     

    Arrius

    Senior Member
    English, UK
    You misunderstand me, sasako, I meant out of politeness on my part to Broccolicious to whom you appeared to address the question. It was, in my opinion, entirely legimitate and relevant to ask such a supplementary question, but as it was not personally addressed to me (and especially since it was not a particularly easy one to answer) I left that to him. If neither he nor anyone else answers, I shall have a go later.
    I really must try not to be so obscure. Tschüß, A. :)
     

    sasako

    Member
    German
    I am sorry...well, next time, I will ask first to make sure that I have understood correctly.
    ...Greetings from Sasako, slightly embarrassed
     

    Broccolicious

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Gaaah - thanks a bunch, Arrius!

    Sasako, you're going to wish that Arrius (or anyone else) had answered this, because... 'I hadn't heard from him until now' instinctively feels right to me, but I can't justify beyond that, I'm afraid.

    Replacing 'now' with 'this morning', 'this conversation' etc would be OK too, and if your context is anything other than a really strict grammar exam, I wouldn't worry about it too much. I hadn't worried about it until now, either. ;)

    Hope that helps, and that someone else will turn up with a grammatical lifeboat!

    Broccolicious (a lady, by the way)
     

    Arrius

    Senior Member
    English, UK
    I was misled by the -us ending, so I did not bother to look up your profile where I now see you had, indeed taken the precaution (which many do not), of indicating your gender. My humble apologies.
    Having read your explanation, I have nothing to add, at present.
     

    johndot

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I have no doubt that Arrius is correct in post #8 where he says that “until just now” should be used with the pluperfect.

    The rule, as I’ve always understood it is:

    I haven’t heard from him yet, but
    I hadn’t heard from him until then.
     
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