General Writing and Grammar Help/Until now & up until now


Dear Ted:

Is there a difference between "until now" and "up until now"?

If so, when should I use each of them?

Would you please give me some examples?

Thank you,


Dear Paolo:

Is there a difference between "until now" and "up until now"?

They actually mean the same thing, but you must carefully choose the tense you use for
each one.

For example, "until now" simply means "as of this present time."  There is no suggestion
that you will do something at a later time.

*** Until now, I have been driving for thirty years and I still have not had an accident.

"Up until how" has a slightly different connotation which requires you to use the past
perfect tense.  

*** Check out the difference in this sentence:  Up until now, I had been driving without
and accident, but my record was just broken when I drove into a tree.

NOTE:  Most people use the two phrases interchangeably.    They do not see the nuances
between the two.


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Ted Nesbitt


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.


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

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

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