For example, in my grammar textbook, the sentence:


Is translated as "Yesterday, I played tennis with my friend from 3 till 5." Which implies that the speaker was playing from 3 up to, but not beyond 5 (so for 2 hours).

In the notes section however, it says that まで includes the time that it is preceded by:


means "I will be absent until next Tuesday", i.e., in this case まで includes Monday (月曜日).

Which is correct?

  • 1
    I disagree with your interpretation of the English. "I played tennis from 3 until 5" does not mean you didn't play beyond 5, though that's the most likely scenario. Most people are not very exact in their meaning. Perhaps you played until 5:10, but 5 is just a more convenient end point. Perhaps you don't really know how late you played, you just know for sure that you played until 5:00. Sure, you could say that in these cases there are better ways to say what you want; nevertheless, there are plenty of English speakers who lack the specificity you suggest these phrases carry.
    – A.Ellett
    Jan 12 '17 at 3:35
  • That is actually what I wanted to say.....
    – user7644
    Jan 12 '17 at 12:46
  • 1
    Remember that in 5時まで, 5時 is a point in time but in 月曜日まで, 月曜日 is a span of time. So including 月曜日 means including everything up to the end of that span.
    – ekimyedips
    Jan 12 '17 at 17:19

まで includes the time which a speaker refers to, so 来週の月曜日まで休みます means "I will be absent until next Monday" and it includes next Monday.

As to 3時から5時まで, if you can think it means "include 5:00", it isn't conflicting, is it?


Speaking based on my experience or ordinary life, I personally think even if the time is, for example, 5:03, it would, could, may be O.K. Instead or if you use "頃{ころ}まで", then it expands a little bit, I think, around up to 5:15.

In This question, in Japanese, the "answerer" says, even 5 milliseconds are not allowed. This question is very good since I have never give my thought to but at the same time give me a nice headache :)...

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