I'm not sure what the right way to interpret this sentence is. The English "She comes until six o'clock" to me is somewhat ambiguous between:
1) "She will be in the process of moving here until six o'clock (at which point she will have stopped moving)."
2) "She is visiting us until six o'clock (and then she will leave)."
Which of these two interpretations does the Romanian sentence point towards? Is this a colloquialism I (US Mid-Atlantic) have never encountered?
Thanks for the clarification! I now think my confusion comes from the preposition 'until,' rather than the verb. If I rephrase the sentence to "she comes /at/ six o'clock," I mean to say "there is a time, six o'clock, and that is the time at which she arrives." In other words, 'până' corresponds to a different English preposition in this usage--'at' instead of 'until.'
Does this agree with how you understand the sentence in Romanian? If so, "She comes at six o'clock" is probably a better default English translation.
What we actually try to say by ea vine până la ora șase is that there is a time, six o'clock, before which she will arrive. To me, she comes at six o'clock tends to mean that we planned that she will come at that time. What we mean by până la is more like she can come sooner but not later than that time.
Indeed the English translation does not reflect what we truly mean, and our prepositions, based on how you combine them, have slightly different meanings.
Oh I get it at last. Nothing complicated about this sentence at all. It means "she will be here by six o" clock " (maybe she will arrive before six, maybe at six, but not after six. And nothing to do with staying) Just as Răzvan Marin described above. Sorry, but you cannot say " she will arrive until six o' clock" in English. Sometimes you hear "she won't arrive until six o' clock", which is partly why I was confused. Sorry to go on and on about this but it has really baffled me until now.
Often in UK English one might say she'll be 'coming over' or 'coming round' or even 'coming by' if she is coming then going again quickly and often if the visit is informal the words 'popping over' or popping round' or 'popping by' would often be used. If someone is just 'popping in' another usage but not often used with a time there is no expectation that the house will be 'visitor ready' whereas if they are coming round or coming over then much housework beforehand may have been done...or not depending on the delicate dance between people and their relationship!