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By or until?

One of the common mistakes made by German speakers is using the word 'until' instead of 'by' when talking about deadlines. If you want to set a deadline for someone, use 'by' with a day or time, for example:-

  • "Can you give me the report by Friday."

This means that the report can be submitted on Friday or before then. If you really want to use the word 'until', it is possible (but probably not as common) to say the following:

  • "You have until Friday to give me the report."


Here are some more example sentences for setting deadlines:

  • Can you send me the information by 3pm.

  • Please send me your answer by Tuesday.

  • I need the documents by tomorrow.


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