Aubrey Carter
"3 Keys IELTS Certified Coach"
Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

English evolves! All languages evolve!

In today’s episode, Lindsay and Aubrey discuss the surprising fact about the word “until” and other ways that the English language has evolved.

They also share four catchy and relevant ways you can use the word until and till.

Listen in and learn how to sound more like a native English speaker using these words correctly in your English conversations.

English is Evolving

The English language gets updated from time to time.

It evolves as time goes by and changes according to how people use it.

Lindsay shares that because the English language constantly changes, you must not be too critical about someone’s grammar.

The English dictionary is revised and improved according to the evolving language.

Today’s episode has been inspired by Allen who sent the following question to the All Ears English team:

“Hi Lindsay, Michelle, Jessica and Aubrey! I’ve been listening to All Ears English for a couple of years now. I must say you’re fascinating. Your podcast has taken me to the high league of English speakers. I was wondering if you could discuss what the differences are between the use of “after until after.” I’ve heard here and there how people use it but I guess that here is a subtle difference in them in each case. Thanks again and keep up the high energy.”

Allen

‘Til and Till

Allen’s question has inspired Aubrey to do some research about till and until.

At first, she assumed that using till is a shortened until and is misspelled because of the extra “l.”

But surprisingly, she found out that till was the original word used before it evolved into the use of until.

In modern English, we used this to denote when something will happen.

Lindsay had the same thoughts when she was thinking of the difference between till and until.

She thought till was a lazy way to use until because it is shortened.

There is another version of till wherein you place an apostrophe at the beginning and drop one the letter “l.”

The version ‘til is a much more informal version of until.

We usually see it in poems, songs and we’ve adopted it into speaking language.

Till, ‘til and until all have the same meaning and are just used in different settings and contexts.

“Till after” is used to give directions on how long someone should wait to do something.

Sample Sentences Using Till

  • Don’t look at this till after school.
  • You can’t have desert till after dinner
  • We waited till after it stopped raining to go outside.

The most common reason we use till instead of until is to save time.

Another reason to change until to till is the rhythm of the sentence.

Other Common Phrases With Till

Lindsay and Aubrey discuss different phrases that use till instead of until.

These are idiomatic expressions that sound better using the word till and are acceptable to use even in a business setting

  • Till next time

You can use “till next time” to mean that you are saying goodbye for now and you’ll see each other again.

Aubrey shares that we will usually hear an announcer say this as a sign off when they are ending a show or at the end of a game.

  • Till we meet again

Lindsay mentions this and says this is similar to “till next time” where you are bidding someone goodbye and you may see them again in the future.

Aubrey adds that she would often hear this in church.

This can also be heard in songs.

It is a little more formal, where Aubrey could hear her grandparents using this.

  • Shop till you drop

Aubrey explains that “shop till you drop” means you continue to go shopping until you can’t anymore.

It doesn’t mean to buy one thing and leave. Both Lindsay and Aubrey don’t like shopping.

They are not fans of the mall culture.

Lindsay would try shopping but then hit a wall and would have no interest to stay and continue to buy stuff because it drains her energy.

Aubrey’s kids love to shop and she would dread accompanying them to the mall.

She shares that she is lucky that her kids are at a certain age, where she could just give them money and they can shop for themselves.

  • It ain’t over till it’s over

This is very straightforward.

This expression is used to talk about something we want to end quicker or something that is taking too long to end.

Lindsay shares a scenario where you can use this expression.

When you are in a competition and the leading team is boasting that they will surely win in the middle of the game, you can say “it ain’t over till it’s over!”

This is to say that they shouldn’t count you out of the game yet because your behind because the game is still not over.

In this expression, you would notice the use of “ain’t” where it is very slang and informal.

Lindsay explains you can use “ain’t” in this situation because it is part of the idiomatic phrase which gives you a pass to use even in a formal setting.

As long as you are not taking the word “ain’t” and using it in your own sentences, you will be fine to use this expression in a business setting.

Roleplay

Here is a quick roleplay from Lindsay and Aubrey where they will use the examples of common phrases using till.

In this roleplay, they are friends chatting in a dog park.

Aubrey: How’s it going training your puppy?

Lindsay: Not bad! Definite improvements but potty training is still touch and go.

Aubrey: Ugh. That’s rough. It ain’t over till it’s over.

Lindsay: That’s for sure. What have you got going on for the rest of the day?

Aubrey: I have to take my kid’s school shopping so, you know, shop till you drop.

Lindsay: Do they like shopping?

Aubrey: They like it more than I do. I hate clothes shopping.

Lindsay: Good luck with that! I gotta run. Till next time!

There was a bonus phrase that Lindsay used in this roleplay.

Touch and go is an idiom that means that sometimes something is going great or sometimes it’s not.

In this roleplay, you should notice the intonation Lindsay and Aubrey used in certain expressions.

Lindsay said “it ain’t over till it’s over” in a bit of a tone where she says it high at the middle and tones down at the end.

It makes the expression more interesting.

Aubrey used a sarcastic tone when she said “shop till you drop.”

This is to denote that she doesn’t like shopping at all.

Takeaway

These English expressions are very native and natural.

You can use till instead of until to save time and sound more like a native English speaker.

This is a good way for you to build connections and start vibrant conversations.

Do you have a question on some words we use in the English language where you want to know the difference?

Let us know in the comments down below and we can help you improve your vocabulary and build better connections in English.

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