Ask Difference

Till vs. Until — What's the Difference?

Edited by Tayyaba Rehman — By Fiza Rafique — Updated on September 26, 2023
Till and Until both indicate up to a specific time, but "Till" is older and more informal, while "Until" is more formal.
Till vs. Until — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Till and Until

ADVERTISEMENT

Key Differences

Till and Until are both prepositions and conjunctions used to denote time, indicating continuation up to a certain point.
Till is the older of the two words, originating from Old English, and is considered more informal in usage compared to Until.
Until typically feels more formal and is often chosen for official communications or writing, but both words can be used interchangeably without changing the meaning.

Comparison Chart

Formality

More informal.
More formal.

Origins

From Old English, predates "Until".
Derived from "Till" by adding "un-" prefix.
ADVERTISEMENT

Usage as Preposition

"She'll be there till 5 pm."
"She'll be there until 5 pm."

Usage as Conjunction

"Wait till I arrive."
"Wait until I arrive."

Misconception

Sometimes incorrectly seen as a contraction of "Until".
Clearly distinguished as a standalone term.

Compare with Definitions

Till

Before (a specified time).
I waited till noon.

Until

Up to the point in time or the event mentioned.
Work until you finish.

Till

Continuously or repeatedly up to a certain point.
He knocked till someone answered.

Until

Up to such time as.
Wait until the lights turn green.

Till

Till or glacial till is unsorted glacial sediment. Till is derived from the erosion and entrainment of material by the moving ice of a glacier.

Until

Up to (the point in time or the event mentioned)
The kidnappers have given us until October 11th to deliver the documents
He held the office until his death
You don't know what you can achieve until you try

Till

Less formal way of saying until

Until

Up to (the point in time or the event mentioned)
You don't know what you can achieve until you try
The kidnappers have given us until October 11th to deliver the documents
He held the office until his death

Till

Less formal way of saying until

Until

Up to the time of
We danced until dawn.

Till

A cash register or drawer for money in a shop, bank, or restaurant
There were queues at the till
Checkout tills

Until

Before (a specified time)
She can't leave until Friday.

Till

Boulder clay or other sediment deposited by melting glaciers or ice sheets.

Until

(Scots) Unto; to.

Till

Prepare and cultivate (land) for crops
No land was being tilled or crops sown

Until

Up to the time that
We walked until it got dark.

Till

To prepare (land) for the raising of crops, as by plowing and harrowing; cultivate.

Until

Before
You cannot leave until your work is finished.

Till

Until.

Until

To the point or extent that
I talked until I was hoarse. See Usage Note at till2.

Till

Until.

Until

Up to the time of (something happening).
If you can wait until after my meeting with her, we'll talk then.

Till

A drawer, small chest, or compartment for money, as in a store.

Until

Up to (a certain place)

Till

A supply of money; a purse.

Until

Before (a time).

Till

Glacial drift composed of an unconsolidated, heterogeneous mixture of clay, sand, pebbles, cobbles, and boulders.

Until

(obsolete) To; physically towards.

Till

Until; to, up to; as late as (a given time).
She stayed till the very end.
It's twenty till two. (1:40)
I have to work till eight o'clock tonight.

Until

Up to the time that (a condition becomes true).

Till

To, up to (physically).
They led him till his tent

Until

Before (a condition becoming true).

Till

To, toward (in attitude).

Until

To; unto; towards; - used of material objects.
Taverners until them told the same.
He roused himself full blithe, and hastened them until.

Till

(dialectal) To make it possible that.

Until

To; up to; till; before; - used of time; as, he staid until evening; he will not come back until the end of the month.
He and his sons were priests to the tribe of Dan until the day of the captivity.

Till

Until, until the time that.
Maybe you can, maybe you can't: you won't know till you try.

Until

Before (a specified time).
The offer is valid until Friday.

Till

A cash register.

Until

Up to (a particular distance).
Walk until the end of the road.

Till

A removable box within a cash register containing the money.
Pull all the tills and lock them in the safe.

Until

As far as.
Continue until you reach the stop sign.

Till

The contents of a cash register, for example at the beginning or end of the day or of a cashier's shift.
My count of my till was 30 dollars short.

Till

(obsolete) A tray or drawer in a chest.

Till

Glacial drift consisting of a mixture of clay, sand, pebbles and boulders

Till

(dialect) manure or other material used to fertilize land

Till

A vetch; a tare.

Till

(transitive) To develop so as to improve or prepare for usage; to cultivate (said of knowledge, virtue, mind etc.).

Till

(transitive) To work or cultivate or plough (soil); to prepare for growing vegetation and crops.

Till

(intransitive) To cultivate soil.

Till

(obsolete) To prepare; to get.

Till

A vetch; a tare.

Till

A drawer.

Till

A deposit of clay, sand, and gravel, without lamination, formed in a glacier valley by means of the waters derived from the melting glaciers; - sometimes applied to alluvium of an upper river terrace, when not laminated, and appearing as if formed in the same manner.

Till

A kind of coarse, obdurate land.

Till

To; unto; up to; as far as; until; - now used only in respect to time, but formerly, also, of place, degree, etc., and still so used in Scotland and in parts of England and Ireland; as, I worked till four o'clock; I will wait till next week.
He . . . came till an house.
Women, up till thisCramped under worse than South-sea-isle taboo.
Similar sentiments will recur to every one familiar with his writings - all through them till the very end.

Till

As far as; up to the place or degree that; especially, up to the time that; that is, to the time specified in the sentence or clause following; until.
And said unto them, Occupy till I come.
Mediate so long till you make some act of prayer to God.
There was no outbreak till the regiment arrived.

Till

To plow and prepare for seed, and to sow, dress, raise crops from, etc., to cultivate; as, to till the earth, a field, a farm.
No field nolde [would not] tilye.
The Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.

Till

To prepare; to get.

Till

To cultivate land.

Till

Unstratified soil deposited by a glacier; consists of sand and clay and gravel and boulders mixed together

Till

A treasury for government funds

Till

A strongbox for holding cash

Till

Work land as by ploughing, harrowing, and manuring, in order to make it ready for cultivation;
Till the soil

Till

Up to the time that.
Stay here till I return.

Till

Used to indicate an extent or duration.
Walk till you see the sign.

Till

As late as a specified time.
The store is open till 9 pm.

Common Curiosities

Is there a difference in meaning between Till and Until?

No, they generally mean the same thing.

Are there any contexts where one is preferred over the other?

In formal writing or communication, "Until" might be preferred.

Can both be used as prepositions and conjunctions?

Yes, both can function as prepositions and conjunctions.

Is "Till" a contraction of "Until"?

No, "Till" is not a contraction and predates "Until".

Which is more formal, Till or Until?

Until is more formal.

Which word originated first?

Till is the older word, coming from Old English.

Can I use Till and Until interchangeably?

Yes, in most contexts, they can be used interchangeably.

Is it incorrect to write " 'til " as a contraction for Until?

" 'til " is seen by some as an informal contraction, but "Till" is the correct standalone word.

Are there any idiomatic expressions involving these words?

Yes, like "Till death do us part."

Is there a difference in usage between American and British English?

The meanings are consistent, but regional preferences might exist in informal contexts.

In which situations should I avoid using "Till"?

In very formal writing or official documents, you might opt for "Until"

How do I decide which one to use in my writing?

Consider the tone you want: "Until" for a more formal tone, and "Till" for a more casual one.

Does the word Till have any other meanings?

Yes, "Till" can also mean a cash drawer or to cultivate land.

Can I start a sentence with Till or Until?

Yes, both can begin sentences, e.g., "Until now, I hadn't known."

How common is the use of " 'til "?

It's less common than "Till" or "Until" and can be seen as informal or colloquial.

Share Your Discovery

Share via Social Media
Embed This Content
Embed Code
Share Directly via Messenger
Link
Previous Comparison
Bylane vs. Highway
Next Comparison
Renege vs. Rescind

Author Spotlight

Written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at AskDifference.com, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

Popular Comparisons

Trending Comparisons

New Comparisons

Trending Terms