I am from a non-English speaking country. I work for a company which consists of wide range of foreign clients. Recently, I have been in the hot water with my boss over use of until and "the" before office in emails.

I have studied English translation and never encountered such argument. Is he right that use of "until" in the email, indicates a period of one week? and we usually do not use the before the word office? as in the following sentence:

Please kindly be informed that Mr. X is not currently at the office and is attending a training course until Wednesday 15 March.

closed as off-topic by gnat, JB King, Justin Cave, Michael Grubey, mhoran_psprep Apr 16 '14 at 10:01

  • This question does not appear to be about the workplace within the scope defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 7
    This question appears to be off-topic because it is tour language specific details that are relevant for ELU.SE / ELL.SE sites – gnat Apr 16 '14 at 5:49
  • 2
    ell.stackexchange.com would be a better SE for the question. – JB King Apr 16 '14 at 5:55
  • 4
    @Zhinus - I don't see anything wrong with the sentence. I would have phrased it 'in the office' rather than 'at the office', but the sentence as composed answers the question of whether or why Mr. X will not be responding until 15 March. – Meredith Poor Apr 16 '14 at 7:53
  • oOt putting the word 'the" before office would be incorrect. Your use of until is fine. However, if your boss doesn't like the structure, then just use the wording he prefers, this is not a big enough issue to be worth getting into a fight about. Save your "boss disagreement points" for really important things. – HLGEM Apr 16 '14 at 13:09
  • I'm having trouble understanding where "one week" fits in. What is your boss saying the correct usage is? I agree that this should be migrated to ELL, but it needs to be clarified first or they'll just close it as unclear. After you edit, please flag and request migration. – Monica Cellio Apr 16 '14 at 19:16

Whilst this is better suited at ell.stackexchange.com I'll answer for you.

No, until does not designate a period of a week. It doesn't designate any time period but works in conjunction with a period of time to indicate up to that point of time. How you used it in your example above is perfectly fine. It states that Mr X will be back in work on the 15th March.

The only other point is that we say we are in the office, rather than at the office. Using at in that way is for past tense, e.g. I was at the office this past weekend.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.