* I posted the letter today, so they should receive it by Monday. (= on or before Monday, not later than Monday)
* We'd better hurry. We have to be at home by 5 o'clock. (=at or before 5 o'clock, not later than 5 o'clock)
* Where's Sue? She should be here by now. (=now or before now - so she should have arrived already)
You cannot use until with this meaning:
* Tell me by Friday whether or not you can come to the party. (not 'Tell me until Friday')
B. We use until (or till) to say bow long a situation continues:
* 'Shall we go now?' 'No, let's wait until (or till) it stops raining.'
* I couldn't get up this morning. I stayed in bed until half past ten.
* I couldn't get up this morning. I didn't get up until half past ten.
Compare until and by:
Something continues until a time in the future:
* Fred will be away until Monday. (so he'll be back on Monday)
* I'll be working until 11. 30. (so I'll stop working at 11.30)
Something happens by a time in the future:
* Fred will be back by Monday. (= he'll be back not later than Monday)
* I'll have finished my work by 11. 30. (I'll finish my work not later than 11. 30)
C. You can say 'by the time something happens'. Study these examples:
* It's not worth going shopping now. By the time we get to the shops, they will be closed. (= the shops will close between now and the time we get there)
* (from a letter) I'm flying to the United States this evening. So by the time you receive this letter, I'll be in New York. (= I will arrive in New York between now and the time you receive this letter)
* Hurry up! By the time we get to the cinema, the film will already have started.
You can say 'by the time something happened"(for the past):
* Jane's car broke down on the way to the party last night. By the time she arrived, most of the other guests had gone. (= it took her a long time to get to the party and most of the guests went home during this time)
* I had a lot of work to do yesterday evening. I was very tired by the time I finished. (= it took me a long time to do the work and I became more and more tired during this time)
* We went to the cinema last night. It took us a long time to find somewhere to park the car. By the time we got to the cinema, the film had already started.
Also by then or by that time:
* Jane finally arrived at the party at midnight, but by then (or by that time), most of the guests had gone.
119.1 Make sentences with by.
1. I have to be at home not later than 5 o'clock. _I have to be at home by 5 o'clock._
2. I have to be at the airport not later than 10.30. 1 have to be at the airport ---.
3. Let me know not later than Saturday whether you can come to the party.
Let me know ---.
4. Please make sure that you're here not later than 2 o'clock.
5. If we leave now, we should arrive not later than lunchtime.
119.2 Put in by or until.
1. Fred has gone away. He'll be away _until_ Monday.
2. Sorry, but I must go. I have to be at home _by_ 5 o'clock.
3. I've been offered a job. I haven't decided yet whether to accept it or not. I have to decide --- Thursday.
4. I think I'll wait --- Thursday before making a decision.
5. It's too late to go shopping. The shops are only open --- 5. 30. They'll be closed now.
6. I'd better pay the phone bill. It has to be paid --- tomorrow.
7. Don't pay the bill today. Wait --- tomorrow.
8. A: Have you finished redecorating your house?
B: Not yet. We hope to finish --- the end of the week.
9. A: I'm going out now. I'll be back at 4.30. Will you still be here?
B: I don't think so. I'll probably have gone out --- then.
10. I'm moving into my new flat next week. I'm staying with a friend --- then.
11. I've got a lot of work to do. --- the time I finish, it will be time to go to bed.
12. If you want to do the exam, you should enter --- 3 April.
119.3 Use your own ideas to complete these sentences. Use by or until.
1. Fred is away at the moment. He'll be away _until Monday._
2. Fred is away at the moment. He'll be back _by Monday._
3. I'm just going out. I won't be very long. Wait here ---.
4. I'm going shopping. It's 4.30 now. I won't be very long. I'll be back ---.
5. If you want to apply for the job, your application must be received ---.
6. Last night I watched TV ---.
119.4 Read the situations and complete the sentences using By the time ...
1 Jane was invited to a party but she got there much later than she intended.
_By the time she got to the party_, most of the other guests had gone.
2. I had to catch a train but it took me longer than expected to get to the station.
---, my train had already gone.
3. I saw two men who looked as if they were trying to steal a car. I called the police but it was some time before they arrived.
---, the two men had disappeared.
4. A man escaped from prison last night. It was a long time before the guards discovered what had happened.
---, the escaped prisoner was miles away.
5. I intended to go shopping after finishing my work. But I finished my work much later than expected.
---, it was too late to go shopping.
UNIT 120 At/on/in (time)
A. Compare at, on and in:
* They arrived at 5 o'clock.
* They arrived on Friday.
* They arrived in October./They arrived in 1968.
at for the time of day:
at 5 o'clock, at 11.45, at midnight, at lunchtime, at sunset etc.
on for days and dates:
on Friday/on Fridays, on 12 March 1991, on Christmas Day, on my birthday
in for longer periods (for example, months/years/seasons):
in October, in 1968, in the 18th century, in the past, in (the) winter, in the 1970s, in the Middle Ages, in (the) future
B. We use at in these expressions:
at night: I don't like going out at night.
at the weekend/at weekends: Will you be here at the weekend?
at Christmas/at Easter(but on Christmas Day): Do you give each other presents at Christmas?
at the moment/at present: Mr Benn is busy at the moment/at present.
at the same time: Liz and I arrived at the same time.
Note that we usually ask 'What time ... ?' (not usually 'At what time...?):
* What time are you going out this evening?
C. We say:
in the morning(s), in the afternoon(s), in the evening(s)
* I'll see you in the morning.
* Do you work in the evenings?
on Friday morning(s), on Sunday afternoon(s), on Monday evening(s) etc.
* I'll be at home on Friday morning.
* Do you usually go out on Saturday evenings?
D. We do not use at/on/in before last/next/this/every:
* I'll see you next Friday. (not 'on next Friday')
* They got married last March.
E. In a few minutes/in six months etc. = a time in the future
* The train will be leaving in a few minutes. (= a few minutes from now)
* Jack has gone away. He'll be back in a week. (= a week from now)
* She'll be here in a moment. (= a moment from now)
You can also say 'in six months' time', 'in a week's time' etc.:
* They're getting married in six months' time. (or ... in six months.)
We also use in... to say how long it takes to do something:
* I learnt to drive in four weeks. it took me four weeks to learn)
120.1 Complete the sentences. Each time use at, on or in + one of the following.
the evening the moment Sundays about 20 minutes 21 July 1969 he Middle Ages 1492 the 1920s 11 seconds Christmas the same time night
1. Columbus made his first voyage from Europe to America _in 1492._
2. In Britain most people do not work ---.
3. If the sky is clear, you can see the stars ---.
4. After working hard during the day, I like to relax ---.
5. The first man walked on the moon ---.
6. It's difficult to listen if everyone is speaking ---.
7. Jazz became popular in the United States ---.
8. I'm just going out to the shop. I'll be back ---.
9. (on the phone) 'Can I speak to Clare?' 'I'm afraid she's not here ---.'
10. In Britain people send each other cards ---.
11. Many of Europe's great cathedrals were built ---.
12. Bob is a very fast runner. He can run 100 metres ---.
120.2 Put in at, on or in where necessary. Leave an empty space (-) if no preposition is necessary.
1. a. I'll see you _on_ Friday.
b. I'll see you (-) next Friday. (no preposition)
2. a. What are you doing --- Saturday?
b. What are you doing --- the weekend?
3. a. They often go out --- the evenings.
b. They often go out --- Sunday evenings
4. a. Do you work --- Wednesdays?
b. Do you work--- every Wednesday?
5. a. We usually have a holiday --- the summer.
b. We often have a short holiday --- Christmas.
6. a. Pauline got married --- 1991.
b. Pauline got married --- 18 May 1991.
c. Chris is getting married --- this year.
120.3 Put in at, on or in.
1. Mozart was born in Salzburg --- 1756.
2. I haven't seen Kate for a few days. I last saw her --- Tuesday.
3. The price of electricity is going up --- October.
4. I've been invited to a wedding --- 14 February.
5. Hurry up! We've got to go --- five minutes.
6. I'm busy just now but I'll be with you --- a moment.
7. Jenny's brother is an engineer but he's out of work --- the moment.
8. There are usually a lot of parties --- New Year's Eve.
9. I hope the weather will be nice --- the weekend.
10. Saturday night I went to bed --- 11 o'clock.
11. I don't like travelling --- night.
12. We travelled overnight to Paris and arrived --- 5 o'clock --- the morning.
13. The course begins --- 7 January and ends sometime --- April.
14. It was quite a short book and easy to read. I read it --- a day.
15. I might not be at home --- Tuesday morning but I'll probably be there --- the afternoon.
16. My car is being repaired at the garage. It will be ready --- two hours.
17. The telephone and the doorbell rang --- the same time.
18. Mary and Henry always go out for a meal --- their wedding anniversary.
19. Henry is 63. He'll be retiring from his job --- two years' time.