What is the meaning of "I can make the deadline." Someone said "I can make it by the deadline".

Thank you in advance!

2 Answers 2


I can make the deadline just means I can complete the task at hand by the given deadline.

The formal way of saying this would be to meet a deadline. This means you are able to complete your task well within the deadline.

Make a deadline is colloquial. It kind of sounds like you will barely manage to complete the task, just in time for the deadline.


The first way is correct and should be okay in a general sense. They are saying they can achieve the task by a given time.

Could argue it's not entirely correct way of saying it but it's I've heard it many times.

The second way -- "I can make it by the deadline" -- I don't like it.

I don't know what 'by' is doing there, seems to indicate 'next to' the deadline and not before or right on it.

But yes, "I can make the deadline" makes perfect sense in context.


"That murder article, I can make the deadline on it after all"

"I can make the deadline for the lead article if we shift the cat story to tomorrow's human interest section."

  • Though I would agree that "I can make it by the deadline" is less idiomatic than "I can make the deadline", it is not incorrect. 'By' in this context simply means 'before the deadline', with a possible suggestion that the task in question might be completed fairly (or very) close to the deadline. As with many relatively vague formulations of this type, the precise context for a particular instance of the statement will generally clarify the associated nuances.
    – Erik Kowal
    Oct 3, 2014 at 4:43
  • Yes true enough. It's one of those phrases that really needs a subject/context. I get the point on 'by'. Oct 3, 2014 at 5:48
  • Thank you, David Stewart and Erik Kowal for the explanation.
    – eedology
    Oct 3, 2014 at 6:30
  • It might even be that "I can make the deadline" has evolved as a shortening of "I can make it by the deadline", perhaps influenced by "I can meet the deadline". Oct 3, 2014 at 8:50

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.