Google Translate uses the simpler a 11 heures instead of d'ici 11 heures to translate "by 11". Are both acceptable? Is the one used in the lesson preferable? Which is most commonly used?
Brian, in this context ‘à 11 heures’ has a more specific meaning equivalent to the English expression ‘at 11’, whereas ‘d’ici 11 heures’ more accurately mirrors the English expression ‘by 11’ as per the example - before or at 11 at the latest, but not after.
They are both used as indicated, in context.
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