1

I often see in English the word 'till used as until. Example

I'll wait 'till the end of time.

Now I have found out that this may be wrong. The correct writing is without the apostrophe 'till and instead simply till.

In this dictionary among others, the word till is described as an old word for until. And while the version including an apostrophe 'till is bad practice, the version 'til (single l) is mentioned as an old-fashioned variant that people just in general don't like nowadays of some reason. The dictionary gives a few examples of actual use, for instance:

”Yes we will, Watty; we’re only going to wait 'til they’ve got the house and furniture—and oh! Watty. What do you think?” —The New York Observer and Chronicle, 22 Aug. 1872

It is also mentioned that a writing like til or 'til may have originated from the word to, which then gives it a slightly different meaning than the word until.

I then came across this answer that explains the writing 'til (with one l) as definitely completely wrong and non-existing and only wrong-fully used now and then.

So, my question is simply to have it all summed up to get the full overview of the following:

  • which of the variants below are correct/incorrect,
  • which are formal/informal,
  • which are abbreviations or not and
  • which are old-fashioned, not in common English language anymore or simply not recommended for use, but still correct - that is, what is best practice in each case.
  • Also, are they all fully interchangeable or are there variations in their meanings?

Here are all the variants I can think of and have come across:

  • until
  • til
  • till
  • 'till
  • 'til
  • to

Your Answer

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

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.