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What is the difference between by the time, before, until and when in the sentences below. Which ones are interchangeable? What is the difference between 1 a and 1 b?

1. a) The phone stopped by the time / before / until / when she got inside.

b) The phone had stopped by the time / before / until / when she got inside.

2. She didn’t talk to me by the time / before / until / when we got home.

3. She was talking on the phone by the time / before / until / when we got home.
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Hello Diamond

I think you want to be answered by native speakers rather than me. But let's me tell my thought a bit.

The phone stopped when she got inside
=The phone stopped at the time she got inside.
The phone had stopped when she got inside
=The phone had already stopped at the time she got inside.
=The phone stopped before she got inside

The phone (had) stopped before she got inside.
=The phone (had) stopped before the time she got inside.
The use of "had" sounds a bit hypercorrect.

The phone (had) stopped by the time she got inside.
=The phone (had) stopped before or at the time she got inside.
The meaning is the same with or without "had". But the use of "had" is preferred because "by-the-time" sub clauses best fit in a combination with a main clause describing an event that leads to some change in some kind of subject's state.

The phone stopped until she got inside.

This does not make sense. "Until" sub clauses is used with a main clause describing continuation of some kind of subject's state. That is, "Until [event X], [state Y]" means "[state Y] ends when [event X] happens".

She didn’t talk to me when we got home.
This could make some sense in a certain context but sounds a bit weird when it stands alone. "She didn't talk to me" is "she continued to be silent". That is, this main clause describes a state of the subject "she". On the other hand, "when we got home" is a time point. "When" is a time connector to mean "concurrently". "[State Y] continues when [state X] continues", "[event Y] happens when [event X] happens" and "[event Y] happens when [state X] continues" sound natural. But "[state Y] continues when [event X] happens" sounds a bit unnatural. I feel "She didn’t talk to me when we were at home" may be more natural in this case.

She didn’t talk to me by the time we got home.
We may paraphrase it as "she continued to be silent before or at the time we got home" but I feel it makes no sense. As I said repeatedly, "by the time" is commonly used in a way like "Some change of state happens by the time an event happens".

She didn’t talk to me until we got home.
This is a natural saying. It implies "she began talking to me as soon as we got home".

She didn’t talk to me before we got home.
This sounds also natural. But it does not necessarily imply "she began talking to me as soon as we got home". It just says "She was silent before we got home". It is possible she continued to be silent even after the arrival at home.

These are my personal opinion, and I am sure I am wrong as usual. Please wait native speakers' opinions.

paco
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Just as a supplement:

<The phone stopped until she got inside.>
We might interpret this as "the phone started ringing again when she got inside".

<She didn’t talk to me when we got home.>
You might use this if you had been at a party with your girlfriend, and had said something that displeased her. She had to speak to you during the rest of the party, of course, and even on the way home (someone else gave you a lift); but once you got home, an icy silence fell.

<She didn’t talk to me by the time until we got home.>
(You'd have to omit "by the time" in this one.)

MrP
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Comments  
MrPedantic<She didn’t talk to me by the time until we got home.>
(You'd have to omit "by the time" in this one.)

MrP
Thank you Mr P for pointing out my careless mistake. I deleted "by the time" now.

paco
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