A lot of our students, for example the ones from Italy because they use the same word for both, have some difficulty with the difference between within and by in time expressions. However, the difference is actually quite simple:
Use BY with a point in time
Use WITHIN with a period of time
Let’s look at the following examples…
The job application must be submitted by 31 January 2015.
Our electricity bill must be paid within 2 weeks.
As you can see ’31 January 2015′ is a point in time, whereas ‘2 weeks’ is a period. There is also another possibility to mention which is synonymous with within, and that is in…
Our electricity bill must be paid in 2 weeks.
There you go, nice and easy!
Here’s another language game for you all. Have you ever visited Great Britain and struggled to understand someone talking to you in English and wondered if it was the accent? Perhaps you thought that all British people spoke more or less in the same way? In fact, you don’t need to move too far to find very different accents, try this short game and tell us how you did!
Click here to go to the test