-1

When using the set phrase "to date", is it normal or acceptable to indicate a starting date?

To be more specific, the phrase "to date" means "up until now". I've only ever seen it used on its own meaning pretty much "for all time until now". Can you add a start point as well?

For example, would it be valid to say the following?

From when I was born to date nobody has landed on the moon.

That sentence feels very wrong to me but I don't know if that's just because I've not seen it or if it is actually a misuse of the phrase.

For what its worth, this question was inspired by the earlier question today "What does '2007-date' mean?", where there are some suggesting that "2007 - Date" might be linked to the set phrase "to date".

  • I think this is arguably a duplicate of the earlier question you've linked to. It seems to me your example sentence is "strange" for exactly the same reason - from [date1] to [date2] is the standard way of expressing a range (where it would be credible to replace to by up to, until, up until). By introducing the "indivisible" two-word expression to date = up until the present, you create a syntactic "clash". – FumbleFingers Jul 8 '15 at 16:25
  • I didn't think it was a duplicate because that is asking about what the phrase "2007 - date" means which may have an answer other than "it means 2007 to date". And I wouldn't have thought answers to that question would cover whether the usage or any other similar usage was correct. As I say, I'm new here so if people more experienced than I on the site think it is a duplicate I won't cry. ;-) – Chris Jul 8 '15 at 16:28
  • 1
    Define "correct". Everyone agrees the issue is entirely based on "bending" the idiomatic to date into an unusual context. My own answer to the earlier question says it's a creative, but non-standard "double-duty" usage, and my comment here points out that from my perspective, your usage here is doing exactly the same thing. But I'm leaving it to others to "cast the first stone" on the closevote front. – FumbleFingers Jul 8 '15 at 16:34
1

I agree with the original poster, in that this usage of 'to date" doesn't work particularly well. It might be because the sentence is started with "from", which is not technically bad grammar, but can be awkward as seen here.

It sounds better to say: "From the time I was born to the current date, nobody has landed on the moon"

However, I think people would normally be less formal with: "Nobody has landed on the moon since I was born."

0

I don't think you can use 'to date' with a starting date. However, you can use it with a (both ends defined) time period that includes the current date. It then means that time period truncated at today (same start date but ending today).

Q4-to-date

Year-to-date

2016-to-date

Month-to-date

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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