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    #1

    Question :Difference between recently and lately

    My American friend told me that it's better to say "I've been a little bit busy LATELY" than to say "I've been a little bit busy RECENTLY". But when I look up them in the dictionary, it seems like they share the same meaning...

    So could anyone tell me the difference and show me some examples, please ? Thanks~I'll appreciate your help!

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    #2

    Re: Question :Difference between recently and lately

    [AmE - not a teacher]

    I can't tell you why, but "lately" to me gives a clue that it's been this way for a while, and up through now, and quite possibly in to the future. "Recently" to me sounds like it has happened only in the immediate past, and may not continue.

    1: Why so blue*?
    2: I don't know, I've been sad lately.
    3: Is it because your dog died recently?
    2: I'm sure that's part of it.

    *3a : low in spirits : melancholy
    Blue - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary
    Last edited by BobSmith; 15-Mar-2012 at 17:43. Reason: added def

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    #3

    Re: Question :Difference between recently and lately

    They both sound fine to me. (BrE speaker)

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    #4

    Re: Question :Difference between recently and lately

    While both adverbs can modify a present perfect tense VP, only 'recently' can modify a preterite VP, thus

    I've been ill recently.
    I fell ill recently.
    I've been ill lately.


    are acceptable, but

    *I fell ill lately.

    is not.

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    #5

    Re: Question :Difference between recently and lately

    Wow~ Thank you very much!~
    You've given a readily understandable explanation. (I'm trying to practice present perfect more often. haha~)
    That's very kind of you. :)

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    #6

    Re: Question :Difference between recently and lately

    Ha~ so the slight difference only exist in American English~ Thanks a lot anyway :)
    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    They both sound fine to me. (BrE speaker)

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    #7

    Re: Question :Difference between recently and lately

    Thank you for your kindly reminding. That helps also!~ :)
    Quote Originally Posted by philo2009 View Post
    While both adverbs can modify a present perfect tense VP, only 'recently' can modify a preterite VP, thus

    I've been ill recently.
    I fell ill recently.
    I've been ill lately.


    are acceptable, but

    *I fell ill lately.

    is not.

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