Postpone TO or FOR, UNTIL, AFTER, BY?


postpone to or for
postpone to or until
postpone to after
to postpone by an hour

As you have probably figured out by now, prepositions in English can be tricky and can change the entire meaning of the sentence. Therefore, you need to be careful when using prepositions especially with verbs like postpone as postpone to” and postpone for” for example have completely different meanings.


Let’s have a look at examples of postpone with different prepositions and see how the preposition can change the meaning of the sentence.

  • We will have to postpone the meeting for a few days until the manager is feeling better and can attend the meeting.

This sentence means that the meeting is adjourned until the manager can make it into the office and be present at the meeting.

If you said we will have to postpone the meeting to Monday you are saying that the meeting will take place on Monday instead of today.

  • The referee decided that the match should be postponed until the thunderstorm cleared and the weather conditions improved.

The players and the fans will have to wait for the weather to improve before they can play the match, they will have to wait for something to happen before that can start the match.

If you said the referee decided to postpone the match to Sunday this means that the match has been rescheduled and will be played on Sunday.


As you can see from the examples above when we use the preposition to we are referring to a certain time or a specific.

The preposition by allows us to say how long the event will be postponed or delayed for.

  • The flight attendant told the passengers that the flight will be postponed by an hour. (The passengers will have to wait another hour until the plane departs from the airport.)
  • The play was postponed by 15 minutes as one of the actors was feeling ill.
  • The match was postponed by two days due to the poor weather conditions.
  • The meeting was postponed by a few hours while they waited for the manager to arrive.


The preposition after allows us to refer to a situation that occurred in the past that forced the event to be postponed.

  • The presidents speech was postponed after a bomb scare in the city centre.


More for you:
How to Use AT, IN, ON in English?
How many prepositions are there and what are they?
AFTER and BEFORE- prepositions or adverbs?
What kind of preposition can I use after SING?

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