I have a sentence:

"If you haven't paid for the trip yet, please do so before Friday afternoon"


Does it have the same meaning with

"You have until the end of the school week to pay for the trip"?

In my opinion, they have a slight difference because "before Friday afternoon" means earlier Friday afternoon (maybe morning Friday is the deadline), and "until the end of the school week" means up to the end of Friday afternoon. Am I correct?

  • When exactly does the school week end? There's no standard meaning of the phrase "the school week" in English. If the school week ends before Friday afternoon, then the meanings are identical. If it ends after Friday afternoon, then they're not.
    – Juhasz
    Commented Apr 18, 2019 at 12:56
  • Yeah. That's a point. I'm not sure about when the school week ends. Thank you so much. Commented Apr 18, 2019 at 13:04

1 Answer 1


Generally the difference between before and until is that the day/time in question is excluded in the context of the former while is included in the later.

Barring the complications arising from when the school week ends (as no universal definition is available to the phrase). The sentences do mean the same in this particular case.

Let me explain further

Before Friday and Until Friday are different as Friday is excluded in the former while is included in the later.

Where as

Before 12pm and Until 12pm are effectively the same as only precise moment 12pm is excluded or include and hardly makes a difference.

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