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General Writing and Grammar Help/Until now, up to now, up until now

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Question
Dear Ted:

With the use of some examples, would you please explain the differences among "until now," up to now," and "up until now"?

Also, are there any cases in which the three time expressions or some of them may be used interchangeably?

If so, when?

Would you please give me a few examples?

By the way, is it correct to call them "time expressions" or should I call them "adverbial phrases"?

Many, many thanks for your kind help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

With the use of some examples, would you please explain the differences among
"until now," up to now," and "up until now"?

Also, are there any cases in which the three time expressions or some of them
may be used interchangeably?

If so, when?

Would you please give me a few examples?

By the way, is it correct to call them "time expressions" or should I call them
"adverbial phrases"?

*** These expressions are prepositional phrases.  They can be interchanged.  Here's a new one for you, Paolo:  They are most often used as "transitional tags."  Such a "tag" is used to make the transition or change from one subject to another.  These phrases are "time transitional tags."

UNTIL NOW, Vladimir Putin has played his cards well.

UP TO NOW, Putin has made great advances in restoring the prestige and power of the old Russian empire.

UP UNTIL NOW, Putin has been successful in Russia's continued domination of most of the former states of the USSR.

*** All three indicate that something has recently happened to hamper [or get in the way] of Putin's policies.  That something is the uprising in Ukraine.  Putin was prepared for terror attacks at Sochi, but he was caught off guard when the demonstrations began in Kiev.

*** In my three examples, I used the present perfect tense.  If I write another sentence to follow up my three versions, that sentence would be in the PRESENT tense, because I am now ready to make my transition.

Ted  

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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