English Lesson: Until Vs. Unless

Michael Uncategorized 1 Comment

I’m thinking of getting a new cell phone. I have an 3gs iPhone now, but it is a bit old and the battery doesn’t last very long. I am considering the iPhone 4g, but I wonder if I should wait until the iPhone 5 comes out. Then again, I think I don’t want a new phone unless it has long battery life and a good camera. What should I do…?

Today let’s look at Until Vs. Unless Do you know how to use these words? Have a look at the paragraph above and then check today’s lesson.

We use until when we want to talk about a point in time that something happens. Something happens or will happen until a certain time. For example:

  • I waited until 6:30, but Donna didn’t come. So I left the coffee shop.
    • This means that 6:30 was the point in time that I stayed in the coffee shop while waiting for Donna.
  • I wonder if I should wait until the iPhone 5 comes out.           
    • This means, the point in time I will wait to buy a new phone is then the iPhone 5 comes out.
  • I have to work until 9 tonight.
    • This means I am going to continue working, and then stop at 9:00.

We use unless to talk about a condition and a result. The condition needs to happen, and if it doesn’t happen, the result will not happen. We use unless in negative sentences. For example:

  • I don’t want to buy a new phone unless it has long battery life.
    • This means if the phone has a long battery life, I will buy it. Otherwise, I will not.
  • I won’t go to the party unless you come with me.
    • This means if you come with me, I will go to the party. If you don’t come with me, then I won’t go to the party
  • I can’t take a vacation unless I have enough money.
    • This means if I have enough money, I will take a vacation. Otherwise, I will not.

Can you wait until something happens, or do you prefer not to wait? I won’t know the answer unless I hear from you! Thanks for studying today.