Difference between Till and Until

Key difference: Oxford Dictionary defines the word Until as “Up to (the point in time or the event mentioned).” Hence, it can be said that until is almost the same as up to the time of. Till is another form of Until, which is popularly believed to be an informal version of Until.

UntilUntil is quite a common word in the English language. One may have come across the term frequently, even if they may not know exactly that the term means. Alternately, one may have seen the use of words such as 'Til, Till, 'Till, in addition to Until, and in exactly the same manner, which begs to ask the question: What is exactly the difference between these words, and are they the same?

The short answer to that question is yes. The words 'Til, Till, 'Till, and Until have the same basic meaning and can be used in the same manner. However, things are not that simple. There is a slight difference in the words and their implication.


Oxford Dictionary defines the word Until as “Up to (the point in time or the event mentioned).” Hence, it can be said that until is almost the same as up to the time of. It refers to something which is happening up to a certain point of time or event. For example: until sunrise, or until 9 am, or until I come home. All of these refer to situations where something is happening up until a time or event.


It should be noted that the proper word to use in most scenarios would be until. Until is the officially recognized word. All the others, including Til, 'Til, Till, 'Till and others are informal ways of using until. Many of these shortened forms are frowned upon, especially in formal or educational settings. In these situations, until is the only acceptable form. However, in most casual settings, till is generally accepted. The others, however, Til, 'Til and 'Till are generally considered at wrong and should never be used.

It is often believed that Till is the shortened form of Until. However, till actually predated until. It was used before and for much longer in the English language, well until the word Until came about. Despite of this fact, Until is generally considered the safer bet, as it is accepted in all situations and scenarios. There is still a debate whether or not till should be accepted in a formal setting, as many people still consider it to be a shortened and informal form of Until.

Comparison between Till and Until:




Definition (Oxford Dictionaries)

Less formal way of saying until

Up to (the point in time or the event mentioned)


Up to a particular time or event

Up to a particular time or event





Generally accepted in casual and informal situations

Accepted in formal and educational situations


Technically not correct, but commonly accepted

Technically the only correct usage

Reference: Oxford Dictionaries (Till and Until), Grammarist,
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Image Courtesy: untiltheendmovie.com, pinterest.com

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