up to / until > the time of his death

Anushka Athukorala

Senior Member
Sinhalese
Hello Members

The sentences below are from my Longman dictionary.

She continued to care for her father up to the time of his death.
We have kept our meetings secret up to now.

The ticket is valid until March.
Until recently, Anna worked as a teacher.
Up until last year, they didn't even own a car.

Members my question is can I interchange up to and until with the same meaning?

She continued to care for her father until the time of his death.
We have kept our meetings secret until now.

The ticket is valid up to March.
up to recently, Anna worked as a teacher.
up to last year, they didn't even own a car.

Thank you
 
  • The one that seems odd to me is "up to recently". I would say "until recently". You will find "up to recently" with the phrasal verb "to be up to" (to be busy with). "Let us tell you what we've been up to recently". The others seem fine.
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    in "up to" is only a preposition and cannot qualify an adverb - to act adverbially up to must be followed by a [qualified] noun. Until does not have this disadvantage.
     

    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Members my question is can I interchange up to and until with the same meaning?
    You can't always do it. For example, "up to" can relate to quantity (e.g. "You can bring up to four guests"); "until" cannot relate to quantity. It is unfortunately not possible to list all the contexts in which the two are not interchangeable.
     
    Last edited:

    Anushka Athukorala

    Senior Member
    Sinhalese
    Hello PaulQ

    Thank you very much for your answer and explanation. I read all the sentences carefully and according to your answer “in "up to" is only a preposition and cannot qualify an adverb - to act adverbially up to must be followed by a [qualified] noun. Until does not have this disadvantage.”

    But have a look at this sentence

    We have kept our meetings secret up to now.

    Here doesn’t “now” act as an adverb? I’m not so sure so can you explain a little further?
     

    Anushka Athukorala

    Senior Member
    Sinhalese
    Hello sound shift


    Thank you very much for your answer and explanation. What you said “"up to" can relate to quantity (e.g. "You can bring up to four guests"); "until" cannot relate to quantity.”
    I read it in my dictionary too and it is clear to me but I’m confused about up to’s meaning which was given in dictionary almost looks identical to until’s meaning.


    Up to – for the whole of a period until a certain time or date.

    Until – if something happens until a particular time, it continues and then stops at that time.


    So could you at least mention a few situations in which they differ?
     

    Anushka Athukorala

    Senior Member
    Sinhalese
    now = this point.
    Hello PaulQ


    Thank you for the answer but I still cannot fully see the difference between “until” and “up to” with regard to this particular sentence.


    Up to recently, Anna worked as a teacher.


    I looked up both now and recently in my “Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary” and both of them marked as adverbs in it.

    Now is an adverb and recently is an adverb too and now can be used with up to but recently cannot be used with up to. Is there any special grammar rule involved or is up to which is something which doesn’t go with recently? Could you please help me out?
     

    Anushka Athukorala

    Senior Member
    Sinhalese
    This one's wrong. Don't use "up" together with "until". Until last year, . . .
    Hello Parla


    Thank you so much for your correction but that sentence is from my “Longman dictionary”. I was also wondering why “up” was used in it because I felt like it was not necessary there but have a look at the sentence below it is from “Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary ”.


    He continued working up until his death.


    Parla I’m wondering if “up” adds any extra meaning to the sentence.

    Could you please explain?
     
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