When to use the preposition BY with time?

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NO LATER THAN A TIME

Example:
He has to be at work BY 9 o’clock.
We need to leave for the airport BY 10 a.m.

If you have to be by work by 9 o’clock, that means the latest you can be at work is at 9. You can show up earlier, but no later. Anytime you’re talking about this kind of deadline, you can use the preposition by.

  • We need to finish this project by Wednesday.
  • When do you want the email sent by?
  • I think we can leave by 4:00 and still make it on time.
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