English Lesson: Until Vs. Unless

Michael Vocabulary 1 Comment

I’m thinking of getting a new cell phone. I have an 4g iPhone now, but it is a bit old and the battery doesn’t last very long. I am considering the iPhone 5g, but I wonder if I should wait until the iPhone 14 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 14 comes out.
    • This means, the point in time I will wait to buy a new phone is then the iPhone 14 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.

Keep in mind the best way to remember this or any vocabulary in English is to take the word or phrase write it in a sentence that’s true for you or true in your world and then memorize your sentences.

You can even take your sentences and write them in the comments below. I would love to see your examples. And if you really want help with vocabulary, sign up for my free vocabulary workshop (see below).

If you know anyone who might be interested in this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!

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