Is "of late" used as equally as "recently" or "lately" in the Present Perfect tense?

I mean, would it be acceptable to use the 1st sentence as well as the 2nd or 3rd if I wrote the following:

  1. I've made a great strides recently.
  2. I've made a great strides lately.
  3. I've made a great strides of late.

I also want to know: do "so far" and "by now" have the same meaning?

  • Possibly two different questions. – Luke Sawczak Jul 13 '17 at 2:36
  • 1
    Certainly two different questions. – P. E. Dant Jul 13 '17 at 2:52

First please may I change your sentences above to read correctly before I attempt your question:

  1. I've made great strides recently.

  2. I've made great strides lately.

  3. I've made great strides of late

You don't need the indefinite article a because you are referring to a plural countable noun = strides (modified by great).

We usually use a before a singular plural noun.

  1. recently is an adverb which means not long ago, or in recent time or a short time ago

  2. lately is also an adverb and according to most dictionaries means exactly the same thing as recently.

  3. of late is a phrase which is a little more formal and again most dictionaries say it means the same thing as lately and recently.

If you check the Collins dictionary they show that the trend of usage is very similar for each word.

  1. so far is a phrase that has a few meanings according to its context.

It can be used to give the idea that an influence is limited up until the present moment.

Ex. The government can only go so far to help some refugees.

  1. We can also use so far to express a period of time up until now.

Ex. I have been working very hard but so far I haven't understood anything.= I haven't understood before now and including now.

  1. We can also use so far to express our own limitations.

Ex. I can only go so far on this hike and then I have to rest.

  1. by now is also a phrase which refers to a past period of time ending now in the present. It is usually associated with expectations.

Ex. He should have been here by now. (By now could be noon or a specific time). In this example we expected him to be here by now.

Sources: Practical English Usage, Collins and Cambridge dictionaries and the University of life.

I hope that helps.

  • I am pleased for having received such an expansive respond to my post. Thanks. – Anthony Voronkov Jul 13 '17 at 14:17
  • My pleasure Anthony.. I hope it helped. – user242899 Jul 13 '17 at 15:24

Between recently, lately, and of late, there are minor differences.

"Recently" can mean one of two things:

  1. Simple past: An event happened recently. It happened in the recent past.

✓ I thought about my mother recently.

  1. Perfect: Something has been happening recently. It has repeatedly happened.

✓ I've been thinking about my mother recently.

"Lately" can only mean the second one. It's not natural to use "lately" for one particular event, generally described in the simple past.

I thought about my mother lately.

✓ I've been thinking about my mother lately.

"Of late" is the same as "lately". However, it's archaic. You might encounter it in literature, but I can't imagine a context where it would come up in conversation — except if someone is trying to sound archaic. :)

Between so far and by now, there are significant differences. But they aren't easy to articulate, because they both refer to the recent past.

So far means "up to the present time", with an emphasis on the future: something could change after this point.

There's no news about the get-together so far. But we might hear about it tomorrow.

You can replace "so far" with "yet" in the above sentence. In terms of syntax, you can't always fit "yet" in the same place "so far" fits, but the meaning is the same anyway.

By now means "before now", with an emphasis on the past: something should have already happened.

He left the house at 3? Then he must have gotten home by now.

You can replace "by now" with "before this point" in the above sentence. Again, this replacement doesn't always work in terms of the syntax, but the meaning is the same.

You can also use "by" with any given time. By Friday, by 4 p.m., by morning, by next year, etc.

I want you to hand in your work by Friday at 8 a.m. So anytime before Friday morning is good.

Here's a direct comparison of the two terms. You could not switch them around in these sentences:

So far, there's no news of your brother. We should have heard about him by now.
There may be news of him in the future. But there should have been news of him in the past.


Each choice has a connotation of context.

1.I've made great strides recently. - the great strides occurred in the past, but not long ago

2.I've made great strides lately. - the great strides occurred in the past, but not long ago, and the situation contrasts to a time when great strides were not made.

3.I've made great strides of late. - A stronger version of "lately" - so much so that you might expect the sentence to take the form "I've made greater strides of late" if progress was slow before, or it could appear as written if the previous sentence implied that there had been no progress for a lime time before the recent events.

4.I've made great strides so far. - There have been great strides recently, but there is reason to suspect the great strides will not continue.

5.I've made great strides by now. - The great strides have happened, but there is a sense that they were later than expected or required more effort than expected.

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