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I speak German and I'd usually translate "bis" into "until". However, it occurred to me that the word "until" is almost always used in a temporal context. Or at least much more often than the German "bis", which would be used both in the phrase "from here to there/von da bis dort" and "from now until then/von jetzt bis dann". As far as I can remember, most of the time I read it, until seems to denote a date of something to happen.

Is the word until thought of as belonging to a temporal context, as opposed to an abstract boundary?

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I would suggest first consulting a dictionary; a list may be found at meta.english.stackexchange.com/q/2573/13812. I looked in 3 or 4; all of them defined until as relating to times or events. –  zpletan Apr 13 '12 at 12:43
    
I think this is general reference –  FumbleFingers Apr 18 '12 at 1:46
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closed as general reference by Daniel, FumbleFingers, Mitch, JSBձոգչ, MετάEd Aug 17 '12 at 5:50

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

3 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

to and up to are for broader use like bis.

until is almost exclusively used with reference to time.

For your example, to is better than until even in a temporal context. "From Monday to Friday".

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You are correct. "From here until there" is ungrammatical. "From tomorrow until Tuesday" is OK. You should only use "until" to talk about time.

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I agree with your statement that "until" is always used as a temporal adverb, and Leo seems to support my view.

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