To – Till-until – Up to – As far as : time, distance, quanti


Here, we’re going to study varied expressions, which have apparently very little in common. Yet, they have a common point: they’re expressed with the same word in French, and perhaps in other European languages. In this English edition of the lesson, we’re not going to refer to the French expression, but rather to study what concept these expressions illustrate and what real value they have.


Thus, we’ll see how to express a distance, a location, a time, a quantity, or put an emphasis on an expression.




1)  In order to express a DISTANCE : TO, AS FAR AS.


* TO indicates the finish point or line.


–       I’ll drive you to the bus station, and then, you’ll go on by yourself!




* On the contrary, AS FAR AS insists on the distance travelled.


– We went as far as Stonehenge and then our car refused to start again.




2)    In order to express TIME: UNTIL/TILL, UP TO.


– I was at school with Tom until/till 2010.


– Kids must sit at the back of the car up to the age of ten.




BEWARE:  up to a certain point, or time, in the present= SO FAR, UP TO NOW, UNTIL NOW.


– So far, I like my new job and my new colleagues.


3)   In order to express a quantity, or to measure : UP TO, AS MUCH/AS MANY AS.


* UP TO  indicates the maximum figure (distance or quantity)


– I can ride up to 30 miles a day.




– AS MANY (+ countables in the plural) and AS MUCH (uncountables in the singular) indicates a maximum quantity:


– I’m so worried about him… He can drink as many as 10 beers a day.


– Yes, I’m a chocolate addict! I can eat as much as one pound of chocolate a day!




4)    In order to express insistence, an emphasis: ACTUALLY, EVEN, VERY (adjective + noun).


– He didn’t actually swear at me, but he spoke to me in a really unpleasant way!



–to up to 1

Vocabulary: To, up to, as far as, etc.



1)    Distance: “to”, “as far as”.

Examples: She will go to London.

She got as far as her office and turned back.





2)    Time: “until”, “till”, “up to”.

Examples: She lived in Manchester until / till 1995.

In France education is compulsory up to the age of 16.



3)    Quantities, measures: “up to”, “as much as”, “as many as”.

Examples: My car can do up to 120 miles per hour. …not more

He smokes as many as 30 cigarettes a day.



4)     Here are a few expressions:

How far did they go?

Read down to line 12.

So far  / up to now / until now …..

How’s your new job? Ok so far.

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