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Speaker 1: How long will Ms. Colinas fill in?
Speaker 2: Ms. Colinas will fill in until Ms. Irzel is out of the hospital.


Could any advisor here tell me what situation the above dialogue is in? Are they patients or workers of the hospital? Thanks.

LCChang
Comments  
It takes place in any kind of office, firm, ... Ms Irzel is in hospital, and Ms Colinas replaces her at work.
PieanneIt takes place in any kind of office, firm, ... Ms Irzel is in hospital, and Ms Colinas replaces her at work.

What if I change that to...

Ms. Colinas will not fill in until Ms. Irzel is out of the hospital.

Please advise.

LCChang
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Well, there's no use for Ms C. to fill in if Ms I. comes back to work... And if she doesn't fill in when Ms I. is in hospital, then there will be a problem at the office Emotion: sad
Sorry, but I am afraid I am still confused. May I ask few more questions here?

  1. What does "How long will Ms.Colinas fill in?" actually mean?
  2. IMO. When I read what the second speaker says, I feel that both "Ms.Colinas fills in." and "Ms. Irzel is in the hospital." happen in the same time. Why not use "Ms. Colinas will not fill in until Ms. Irzel is out of the hospital. Therefore, Ms. Colinas will wait until Ms. Irzrl leaves the hospital.
  3. I've learned how to use "not...until" from the grammar books. Something like:
    He will not be back until tomorrow.
    She will not start working until she finishes eating lunch.

    I assume they can be used the same way as the former sentence. Please advise.

    LCChang
Let's go back to the beginning. I don't think you have grasped what 'fill in' means. It means to do someone's work for them while they cannot do that work, for whatever reason. Perhaps they are on holiday, perhaps they are ill, perhaps they are on maternity leave, perhaps they have to temporarily move to another department...but while they are away someone else has to do their work for them.

Speaker 1: How long will Ms. Colinas fill in?
Speaker 2: Ms. Colinas will fill in until Ms. Irzel is out of the hospital.


1. 'fill in' - this means that Ms C will do the work of Ms I, while Ms I is incapacitated in hospital. Ms I cannot do her work while she is in hospital. Her work still needs to be done, so Ms C will be doing it. Maybe Ms I works in a shop on Mondays and Tuesdays. Maybe Ms C works in the same shop on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. While Ms I is ill in hospital and unable to work, Ms C will work every day of the week.

2. Yes they happen at the same time. I don't understand why you think that Ms C should fill in AFTER Ms I leaves hospital? The work needs to be covered while Ms I cannot do it. When Ms I leaves hospital she can do her own work, no-one will have to 'fill in' for her.

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You've answered all my questions, Nona the Brit. Thank you so much.

I wasthinking earlier that they both wouldn't be able to meet each other at the same time because one was about to "replace" the other one. The former person must have done something wrong and would get kicked out soon. I was trapped by this kind of thinking and found no way out.

Thank you.

LCChang
Ok glad you have it ok now.

'filling-in' is always temporary and the original person comes back (at least, that is the intention).