What is the difference between till and until?
When to use till or until? Please explain with examples.
@RegDwight is correct in every particular. Till is indeed older and the two can be used pretty much interchangeably.
There is really only one usage I can think of where you would not use till: in setting up a negative conditional.
Here it would sound strange to use till, and I'm not really sure why. Perhaps it is the negative.
One more thing. Sometimes you will see people spell till as a contraction of until: that is, as 'til. This is simply wrong, and not seen outside of old poetry and modern greeting cards aiming for a "poetic" tone. Anywhere you see 'til being used, till would be the correct word.
According to the usage notes from the entry for till in dictionary.com, until and till are interchangeable:
until = und + till, where und was an Old English word meaning "as far as, up to".
It's been suggested that there's a difference in aspect: till is used with continuous actions, while until is used for perfective. However, this is not supported by any references or general usage, and seems to be an independent analysis.
The only difference is that until has no homophones. I'd suggest using until whenever there's a risk of confusion or difficulty in pronunciation, and only use till where it's suitable for the flow. Till, being older and ambiguous is often used poetically ("till death do us part") which affects the tone of the sentence. I therefore generally avoid till in technical writing.
Finally - as has already been mentioned - 'til is a hypercorrection, and is best avoided.
The word till, is also used to refer to, the device for working out and handling payments in a business, like a shop. This is the meaning in the English of England. What is called a "cash register" in American English. See: http://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/till_2
protected by RegDwigнt♦ Aug 31 '12 at 15:19
Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality answers, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.
Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?