'Til' vs 'Till' vs 'Until': What's the Difference?

By Shanea Patterson, updated on January 26, 2023

Are you wondering whether to use ‘till’ or ‘until’? And what is the difference between the two? We can clear that up, plus teach you how to use both in a sentence correctly.

In short, the difference is that:

  • ‘Till’ means the same thing as ‘until.’ They both mean ‘when something will happen, begin, or end.' That means you can use them interchangeably.
  • 'Til' is an incorrect variation of 'till' or 'until.'

‘Until’, ‘Till’ or Til?

We’ve learned that ‘until’ and ‘till’ mean the same thing, but what about ‘til’?

‘Til means the same thing – to indicate when something will happen, begin, or end. ‘Til is an incorrect variation of ‘till.’

These words sound similar and mean the same thing, which means they're not homophones.

What’s the Difference Between ‘Until’ and ‘Till’?  

As you just learned, there’s no difference between ‘till’ and ‘until.’ They both mean when something will happen, begin, or end.

‘Till’ is actually older than ‘until,’ believe it or not. Most people think it’s an abbreviated version of ‘until,’ however, that’s actually not the case.

‘Till’ is older than ‘until.’

Since ‘till’ and ‘until’ mean the same thing, you can use them interchangeably in your writing without worrying about usage.

Definition and Meaning of ‘Until’ and ‘Till’

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of ‘until’ and ‘till’ is used to indicate when something will happen (i.e., until morning).

It also means before.

For example:

  • I’m not leaving until I have everything I need for my camping trip. Will you go with me to the store?

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce ‘Until’ and ‘Till’

Wondering how to pronounce these words? Here’s a short guide.

  • To pronounce ‘until,’ here’s the phonetic spelling: UHntil
  • To pronounce ‘till,’ here’s the phonetic spelling: TIL

How to Use ‘Until’ and ‘Till’ in a Sentence

Now that we know what the words mean and how to pronounce them let’s see some examples of how to use them in a sentence.

  • I can’t go to sleep until I take a shower, brush my teeth, and put on clean pajamas.
  • We used to go to the mall every day after school until we had that big fight.
  • We stayed up until 6 am playing video games and eating chips and cookies.
  • I remembered my login information for all my accounts off the top of my head until I had that head injury.
  • We’re not starting the game until everyone is here. It’s only fair.
  • We’re not moving to Texas until April, when the weather is better.

Remember that these words can be used interchangeably, so you can always swap out one word for the other if you want to or if you’re writing something more informal.

Concluding Advice on ‘Until’ and ‘Till’

To recap, we learned that both words we discussed mean the same thing. That means they can be used interchangeably.

If you ever forget the meaning or how to use them in a sentence, you can always come back for a refresher. We’ve got a ton of other content dedicated to explaining confusing words and phrases you might come across while learning the language. Go check it out whenever you need to.

We encourage you to share this article on Twitter and Facebook. Just click those two links - you'll see why.

It's important to share the news to spread the truth. Most people won't.

Written By:
Shanea Patterson
Shanea Patterson is a writer based in New York and loves writing for brands big and small. She has a master's degree in professional writing from New York University and a bachelor's degree in English from Mercy College.

Add new comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WritingTips.org Newsletter
Receive information on
new articles posted, important topics, and tips.
Join Now
We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.