+0
Hi!

* The money must be sent by April 1.

I believe the above sentence means that the latest date allowed for sending the money is April 1.
But how about this?

<Q1>
* The plant construction will start by April.

When is the latest possible date the construction could start?
March 31? or April 30?

<Q2>
If March 31, what is the difference between "before April" and "by April"?

<Q3>
Whatever the the answer is for Q1, is it a strict common understanding among native speakers, or is it more vague and could be interpreted differently?
+0
Hi,

* The money must be sent by April 1.

I believe the above sentence means that the latest date allowed for sending the money is April 1.

People do not always speak precisely. If this were an important matter, I would ask the speaker for clarification.

eg Do you just mean 'sent', or do you mean it must be received no later than April 1?

eg Is the deadline the close of business on April 1st. Or is it midnight at the end of April 1st?

But how about this.

<Q1>

* The plant construction will start by April.

When is the latest possible date the construction could start?

March 31? or April 30? It's not clear.

<Q2>

If March 31, what is the difference between "before April" and "by April"?

<Q3>

Whatever the the answer is for Q1, is it a strict common understanding among native speakers, or is it more vague and could be interpreted differently? Such statements are not clear. A speaker who wanted to be precise would speak more clearly.

eg The plant construction will start before April !st.

Best wishes, Clive
Comments  
Thank you very much!