I have a student (C1 level English) who has asked me for another way to say "Until this time" in an email. She wants to reference a meeting that she is having next month with an executive in another company in her complimentary close. As I don't believe my initial reaction - "um, we don't say things like that in emails in America...?" was sufficient, is there a resource that I can point her to that would provide a fairly exhaustive explanation of the rules of business email etiquette? She said the equivalent in her L1 - Czech - is "awhile," which did not do much to help answer her question. Stock phrases generally don't reference a specific time, obviously; which, she is aware, but wants to do something different...be original and inventive, I suppose. So what should I explain to her, and how - ?

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    Can you give a fuller phrase. I can see "until then" being more likely to be used than "until this time", but then again I can see "until this time" being more likely to be used than "hitherto", and really don't see anything very strange with just "until this time", though perhaps I might with more context.
    – Jon Hanna
    Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 16:48
  • What @Jon said. Without more context, the question is just too vague. Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 18:45
  • Are you looking for a phrase to use as a complimentary close, or simply a word that represents "until a certain time"? Or are you referring to the time of the meeting next month (until that time)? As for email etiquette, I do not believe there are any canonical references or standards. When I intend for an email to replace a written letter, I format it more or less as a letter. If it is a short comment, I format it as I would an IM. Emily Post has written on the matter.
    – choster
    Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 19:21

1 Answer 1


hitertho. Can be both an adverb and an adjective:

adv 1. until this time: hitherto, there have been no problems.

adj 3. until this time: a hitherto unoccupied house.

Also, heretofore:

adv. Up to the present time; before this; previously.

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