Both seem to indicate an extent of something, but how do they specifically differ?

  • 3
    What does your dictionary say for each, and what have you found so far?
    – chocolate
    Oct 29, 2016 at 1:16
  • As sun-solar-arrow says, I think まで means "until" or "up to". E.g. 5時から6時まで. "From five to six [a'clock]". I've seen ほど explained as describing an "extent" of something. E.g. "イギリスには五年ほど住んでいました." I've lived in England to the extent of 5 years". But I don't see how these differ, because they seem to me to be interchangeable in those examples. Oct 29, 2016 at 16:47
  • Ah I see so you're talking about something like 「驚くほど似ている」「死ぬほど心配する」「そんなにまで私のことを心配して~~」「病気になるまで/ほど必死で勉強する」ほど/まで as "to the extent ~~" (btw the ほど in 五年ほど住んでいました means "about", "I lived in uk for about 5 years")
    – chocolate
    Oct 30, 2016 at 1:19
  • 極微妙な、あるいは実在しない差異かもしれませんが、「病気になるまで必死で勉強する」は"study hard until one falls ill"; 「病気になるほど必死に勉強する」は"study so hard that one falls ill"という感じを受けますね。/「死ぬほど愛してる」は"I love you to death" (degree or intensity); 「死ぬまで愛してる」は"I love you till I die" (temporal extent) ですね。/ I think まで is mainly used to indicate spatial or temporal extent and, to a limited extent, degree, level or intensity while ほど is never used as a "spatial or temporal extent" indicator.
    – goldbrick
    Oct 30, 2016 at 9:29
  • As to goldbrick's distinction, I have seen "寝る時間がないほど忙しい。" [note this is a non-native speaker's usage, so it might be wrong]. However if it is right, wouldn't this be a level of intensity or 'amount of business' that would make まで more appropriate? See this article where I originally got the definition: guidetojapanese.org/learn/grammar/amount Oct 30, 2016 at 16:33

1 Answer 1


〜ほど means "about", "approximately". Similar to 〜くらい.
〜まで means "until", "by", "till", "reach(まで[届]{とど}く)", "(from something) to something".

from (something) to (something) means 〜から〜まで


  • それの長さは10メートルほど(=くらい)ある。
    • Its length is approximately ten meters.
  • 駅に3時までに着く。
    • I arrive at the station by three o'clock.
  • 僕は5時まで学校にいるね。
    • I'll stay in school until five o'clock.
  • それはここまである。
    • It reaches here.

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