From

The particle から has various grammatical uses but its most basic meaning in Japanese is “from”. Like English, it can be used in reference to a physical place or a point in time, e.g. “take a glass from the cupboard”, “study from 5pm”.

わたしは 明日あしたから 勉強べんきょうを はじめます。
I will start studying from tomorrow.
わたしは いえから 図書館としょかんに きます。
I will go to the library from home.
明日きのう友達ともだちから 手紙てがみを もらいました。
I received a letter from my friend.
かばんから 財布さいふを しました。
I took my wallet out of my bag.

Until

The particle まで means “until” and can be appended to nouns and the dictionary form of verbs.

来年らいねんの 三月さんがつまで 先生せんせいの 授業じゅぎょうを けます。
I’ll take the teacher’s seminar until March next year
毎日まいにち六時ろくじから 八時はちじまで 新聞しんぶんを みます。
Everyday from 6 o’clock to 8 o’clock I read the newspaper.

You can also add まで to the standard form of the verb (“until I do something”). You cannot do this with から as you will see later.

この 漢字かんじを えるまで 友達ともだちと あそびません。
I won’t hang out with my friend until I’ve memorised this kanji.
わたしは おかあさんが かえまで ちます。
I will wait until my mother returns home.

Note how in the last example sentence the が particle was used. This links “mother” to the verb “return home” so it’s clear that she is not the one waiting.

If we add a に to まで the meaning becomes “by”, e.g. I will finish by tomorrow.

5時ごじまでに 電話でんわします。
I will call you by 5 o’clock.
金曜日きんようびまでに おみせに 予約よやくを れます。
I will book the restaurant by Friday.

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