According to Cambridge dictionary

We don't use lately for single events that happened recently

I had a strange experience lately wrong

But in my grammar I found a sentence

I had a letter from him lately.(nothing else is given about this sentence it is just an example)

  • Define recently. (It's open to interpretation. I see no reason to say that the sentence is wrong when talking about something that happened yesterday—or even earlier the same day. Uncommon perhaps, but not wrong.) – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Jun 4 at 19:51

The example in your grammar book is not a good example of English. It is not ungrammatical, but could be better phrased as "... recently". I would prefer to give more specific information, for example, "... last week"

Some good examples would be:

I had a letter from him last week.

I haven't had any letters from him lately.


According to Raymond murphy and the Cambridge dictionary and Raymond Murphy, Lately is used in the sense of recently and till now or upto now or just now.

I haven't been feeling well lately

I haven't seen him lately

But In Collins dictionary lately is used in simple last, past perfect and past perfect continuous too.

When different dictionaries say differently and use lately in different tenses, it is difficult to say what the correct use of lately is.

So I think:

I had a letter from my friend lately


I had a strange experience lately is not wrong but may be unusual.

I have had a letter from my friend lately is usual.

Here are the two links



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