Recently one of my students has come across a sentence in "Advanced Language Practice" by M.Vince that caused some confusion. The sentence is:

"Nothing much has been happening by now / so far"

According to the answer key, the correct answer is "so far". While I don't have problems understanding why "so far" is correct in that sentence, I don't really know why exactly "by now" is incorrect. I think I know the meaning of the expression "by now" but still I can't find of any rule or clear explanation of why It should not be used in the above-mentioned context.


1 Answer 1


'So far' describes the whole period up to and including now. 'By now' is more punctual, it describes the point 'now'. Thus:

'So far' (all the way up until now), nothing has happened, or nothing has been happening.

'By now' (by this point in time called 'now') the mail should have come.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .