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Correctly use Until, Till and ‘Til

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If you have trouble distinguishing the differences between “until,” “till” and “ ’til,” these tips from Marko Ticak at Grammarly can help get you on the right track.

Abbreviating “until.” People can often get confused on whether to use “till” or “ ’til” as the abbreviated form of “until.” The correct answer, at least for the vast majority of writing, is that it’s a trick question—you shouldn’t use either one of them for that purpose. “Till” is not an abbreviation or contraction for “until”; it’s a different word, although with essentially the same meaning. “ ’Til” is still allowed in a dwindling number of usage guides, but if you want to be correct, it’s better not to use it.

The difference between “till” and “until.” “Till” and “until” are different words with a shared meaning—both can be used to mean when something will happen, begin or end. “Till” is just a much older version of “until,” and is often thought to be less formal than “until.”

When to use “until,” “till” and “ ’til.” “Until” is correct in both casual and formal writing; you’ll never be wrong using it. “Till” is also correct, but many people don’t know that. If you use “till,” some people may think you are using the word wrong or are trying to be less formal. “ ’Til,” when allowed in certain usage guides, is an informal version of “until.” While fine in casual talk, it is best to use “until” if you want to be formal and correct.

— Adapted from “Until, Till, or ’Til,” Marko Ticak, Grammarly.

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