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When you look up "lately tense", google gives the top result from oxfordlearnersdictionaries.

I haven't heard from him lately.

Lately is usually used with a perfect tense of the verb.Look also at the idioms be too late (at the adjective) and too late (at the adverb).

But I want to know why?

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The present perfect tense can be used when we describe our experience up to the present. Examples:

I have eaten raw fish.

I have been to France.

"Lately" is normally used with these kind of sentences, to talk about recent experience:

Have you eaten raw fish lately?

Have you been to France lately?

She hasn't been coming in to work on time lately. I wonder what's wrong?

It is possible to use "lately" with the simple present or simple past, but it feels more natural to use it with the present perfect, to suggest the experience could have happened any time up to the present moment.

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