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Until, Till, and 'Til

One of these three is wrong.

By
Mignon Fogarty,,
January 9, 2012

Until, Till, and 'Til

I regularly receive questions from people who are confused about "till," "until," and " 'til."

When you're talking about a period of time that must lapse before something happens, "till" and "until" are equivalent. Don't believe it? Check a dictionary. "Till" actually came first, and "until" followed more recently.

  • We spun in circles until we were dizzy.
  • We ran till we were breathless.

" 'Til" is also an acceptable shortened form of "until," but the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language says the form is “etymologically incorrect.”

If you want to avoid controversy, it's safest to stick with "until."

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