Word Students Confuse: 'Til, 'Till, and Until

ScottsEnglishScottsEnglish Administrator Posts: 1,249 admin ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
edited September 2019 in Grammar

Spoken English is very different from written English

When people speak, they often use contractions, i.e., they omit a letter or letters in a word in order to speak more quickly. The sentence, "He's going to the store" contains the contraction 'he's', which the listener knows means "he is".

Sometimes in reading, you may see "He waited 'til the last minute to turn in the assignment".

While this is fine in spoken English, it is not correct in written English. Any time a person says " 'til" (or 'till"), the meaning is "until" and should be written out in full.

The above sentence is best written as "He waited until the last minute to turn in the assignment".

You are encouraged to use contracted forms on your speaking exam, as they make English flow naturally, but when you are writing only use the full form "until" and not the short forms " 'til" or " 'till" B).

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