Late vs. lately

1) Late (adjective) – near the end of a period of time.

  • We had to reschedule the programme due to his late arrival.
  • He’s probably in his late thirties.

2) Late (adjective) – refers to someone who has died.

  • She gave her late husband’s clothes to charity.

3) Late (adverb)

  • She arrived late.
  • It happened late in 1990.
  • When Jithu came home late his mother scolded him.


Lately (adverb) = RECENTLY

We use ‘lately’ usually in Present perfect tense. Please note that it is not the adverb of ‘late’.

  • She hasn’t been looking well lately. (i.e., recently)
  • Freddy’s been in high spirits lately.
  • Tomi has been getting up to all sorts of mischief lately.

Note: ‘Recently’ can be used in Present Perfect tense and Past tense as well.

  • When I met him recently he was OK.


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