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Bis zum... Not Just "Until"

There are many videos on Yabla German that end with the following sentence:



Ich verabschiede mich bis zum nächsten Mal. Tschüs!
I'll say goodbye until next time. Bye!

Caption 36, Jenny erklärt - Zeitintervalle

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Indeed, the preposition bis is most often translated as "until" when used in sentences about time. You have also likely seen von and bis zu (or ab and bis zu) used together to denote a timespan. Note the use of the dative.


Das zwölfte internationale Trickfilm-Festival in Wiesbaden

The Twelfth International Animation Festival in Wiesbaden

vom vierzehnten bis zum siebzehnten Oktober im Biebricher Schloss.

from the fourteenth until the seventeenth of October at the Biebrich Palace.

Captions 18-19, Internationales Trickfilmwochenende - im Biebricher Schloss

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In Deutschland haben Kinder ab dem Alter von drei Jahren bis zur Einschulung einen Anspruch auf...

Starting at the age of three until enrollment in school, children in Germany are entitled to...

Caption 20, Bundesrepublik Deutschland - Einbürgerungstest

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When we speak about deadlines in English, we use the preposition "by." As it turns out, this is one of many instances in which "by" is not equivalent to bei. Indeed, bis and bis zum/zur are used to express this as well. 


und die Sturmschäden werden bis zum Ende des Jahrhunderts um gut fünfzig Prozent zunehmen.

and the storm damages will increase by a good fifty percent by the end of the century.

Caption 20, Gesamtverband der Deutschen Versicherungswirtschaft - Naturgefahrenreport

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Ob wir das schaffen bis zum Trainingslager, ist fraglich.

If we manage that in time for the training camp is questionable.

Caption 38, Fußball - Saisonpremiere

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Further Learning
Any time you speak about a deadline in your German class or in a real-life situation, note the use of bis or use it yourself! Examples could include... Bis wann muss die Hausarbeit abgegeben werden? (in class), Bis wann müssen wir das Zimmer geräumt haben? (at a hotel), or Bis wann muss der Bericht fertig sein? (in a meeting).

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