Correct use of “Until and Unless”

Both until and unless looks similar but not same. They have huge difference in meaning. To avoid confusion, I’m writing this blog,” Correct use of until and unless.

  1. Both are subordinating conjunctions.
  2. Until – something should be done before a time limit.
  3. Time limit — expressed by an event.
  4. Meaning of until — by the time or upto the time.
  5. Unless – express restrictive condition.
  6. Conditionunmet restrictive condition.
  7. Meaning of unless — If…. not.
  8. Future tense is not applicable for both.
  9. Rules of comma are same — use it when until and unless are used at the beginning. Now, let’s see the correct use of Until and Unless.

Use of Unless subordinating conjunction of condition 

“Unless” subordinating conjunction is used for restrictive unmet condition. So, shouldn’t get confused with “Until.”

“Unless = If…Not = Restrictive Conditions”

“Unless + restrictive clause + comma + main clause”.

  • Unless you agree my terms and conditions, I will not help you out.
  • Unless you complete your assignments, I will not select for competition.

“Main clause + unless + restrictive clause”.

  • The temperature of our planet will rise continuously unless we control the fossil fuel consumption.

(If we don’t control the use of fossil fuel consumption, the temperature of our planet will rise continuously)

  • She would not be part of our team unless she fulfilled all requirements.(would is preferred in the past tense)

(If she didn’t fulfill all requirements, she wouldn’t be part of our team)

  • We would not have started operation unless you had accepted our terms. (Higher level restrictive conditions by perfect past tense)

“In short, if you are not going to fulfill one condition, other will not happen any more as a result”.

Use of Until subordinating conjunction of time

Same rules of “Unless” are applicable except meaning. Until is used to express two events limited by time. And, Unless is for unmet condition.

Let’s see some useful examples of Until subordinating conjunction of time.

“Until + Time’s clause + comma + main clause”.

  • Until he stops, I will keep writing.
  • Until it start raining, school will be opened.

“Main clause + Until + Time’s clause”.

  • He decides to have some snacks until circus begins.
  • I won’t go out until it stops raining.
  • The cyclone won’t weaken until it reaches land surface.
  • Patients do not need ventilators until they complain breathing difficulty.
  • Teacher cannot permit until students agree with terms and conditions.
  • The Stock will correct until it rises at all time high.

By reading all the rules and examples, now, you might be able to use until and unless subordinating conjunctions of time and conditions comfortably….

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