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Children with lower IQs were more persistent and resilient even when faced with frustrations, and they practiced until bettering their abilities and becoming better chess players than those with higher IQs.

Is the "until" a conjunction or preposition in the sentence? It looks like "prep + gerund" to me. if not, can u tell me why it cannot be a preposition?

  • Then how is the tag "preposition"? – Kris Jun 29 '18 at 11:31
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Children with lower IQs were more persistent and resilient even when faced with frustrations, and they practiced until bettering their abilities and becoming better chess players than those with higher IQs.

Until in this sentence is a preposition. It stands for up to the point in time or the event mentioned, i.e., "bettering their abilities."

  • I asked the same on another site, and the answer is as follows: – QnQ Jun 29 '18 at 11:39
  • I would class that sentence as somewhat ungrammatical (it should read “until they had bettered … and become …”). The book as a whole appears to have been inadequately edited, or maybe translated: Homo Sapiens But Dumber When used as a preposition, the word until is followed by a noun/noun phrase: The doors don’t open until 6 pm / He didn’t find out until the next day / They played outside until dark​ When used as a conjunction, it is followed by a clause (with subject and verb): They kept practising until they got better at it / No computer games until you’ve done your homework!​ – QnQ Jun 29 '18 at 11:40
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    The use of bettering here is to imply "having bettered" -- it's a common enough structure and the author seems to have got it all right. – Kris Jun 29 '18 at 11:49

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