I’m working a lot recently.

Peter Thompson

Senior Member
Malaysian
Hi. I've seen some native speakers saying something like: "I'm working a lot recently"
They use the present continous with the adverb "recently", but is this actually grammatically correct ?
Because I usually see the present perfect used with the adverb "recently".

Many thanks!
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    is this actually grammatically correct ?
    Who are these native speakers and what is the context? At first sight, I would say "I'm working a lot recently" cannot be correct as "I am working" indicates that the working is still taking place in the present, but "recently" means "in the recent past."
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    I suggest you use the present perfect (or use something like "at the moment" with the present tense).

    It sounds like the person changed their mind of what they wanted to say mid-way through saying it.
     

    Peter Thompson

    Senior Member
    Malaysian
    Who are these native speakers and what is the context? At first sight, I would say "I'm working a lot recently" cannot be correct as "I am working" indicates that the working is still taking place in the present, but "recently" means "in the recent past."
    I mean, recently here means something that started some time ago and is still true now. For this meaning I would expect people to use the present perfect continous because it's the most common, I would think. But there are native speakers (The Native speakers here are my friends who have english as their native languages) that say "I'm playing football lately" or something like that, they use the present continous to convey this idea.
    This sounds wrong to me.
    It sounds unusual to my ears either. But basically they use this tense to mean this "I'm working around this present moment" and they use "recently".
     

    Peter Thompson

    Senior Member
    Malaysian
    I suggest you use the present perfect (or use something like "at the moment" with the present tense).

    It sounds like the person changed their mind of what they wanted to say mid-way through saying it.
    So, the short answer to my question is "wrong" ? They use the present continous with "recently" to mean exactly like how they use the present perfect continous ( to mean that they're still working now ).

    What variety of English do they speak? Do they speak other languages?
    They come from England. They're british. Their first languages are English and I've been talking with them in english so far. I suppose they only talk in english.

    And I agree with Uncle Jack that It sounds like the person changed their mind of what they wanted to say mid-way through saying it.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    In some versions of English, e.g.Indian English, "I'm working a lot recently" is acceptable. It is not in BE and AE.
     

    Peter Thompson

    Senior Member
    Malaysian
    In some versions of English, e.g.Indian English, "I'm working a lot recently" is acceptable. It is not in BE and AE.
    So, in AE and BE the present continous is not used for this meaning ? Since I'm interested in AE, I think I would have to follow how American people talk.
     

    Peter Thompson

    Senior Member
    Malaysian
    Doesn't "these days" also mean recently in a sense?
    Why "I'm woking" is okay here?
    Thanks!
    To me, there's a tense which you could only use with a certain adverb. For example: "Recently". It would only be correct to use it with the present perfect, at least in AE and BE to mean that we're still in process. "These days" seems to behave differently here, which means that you could use it with the present continuous or the present perfect, you could even use it with the present simple, E.g "I rarely listen to music these days". That's my take on it.
     

    Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Doesn't "these days" also mean recently in a sense?
    Why "I'm working" is okay here?
    Thanks!
    "recently" is in the past. It is the near past, but past nevertheless.

    "these days" includes the present. If you wanted to refer to the past, you would say "those days".

    I have been working hard recently.

    I am working hard these days.

    In those days, I worked hard.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    Doesn't "these days" also mean recently in a sense?
    Yes, it does. But "these days" is generally used the the present tense (it always includes the present), and "recently" is used with the present perfect or past tense (it does not really refer to the present).

    I can see someone using recently and then realising that this does not necessarily include the present, so they change verb to the present tense, but it is harder to understand why someone would begin with the present tense and then use "recently".
     

    User With No Name

    Senior Member
    English - U.S. (Texas)
    This isn't logical at all, but to me, "I'm working a lot lately" sounds a lot more natural than "I'm working a lot recently."

    I agree the others that the present perfect is the better option with both words.
     

    LeonLiu

    Member
    Mandarin
    To me, there's a tense which you could only use with a certain adverb. For example: "Recently". It would only be correct to use it with the present perfect, at least in AE and BE to mean that we're still in process. "These days" seems to behave differently here, which means that you could use it with the present continuous or the present perfect, you could even use it with the present simple, E.g "I rarely listen to music these days". That's my take on it.
    I see. I think I got it. Thank you!
     

    LeonLiu

    Member
    Mandarin
    In those days, I worked hard.
    I didn't think of that before. Thank you very much!
    Yes, it does. But "these days" is generally used the the present tense (it always includes the present), and "recently" is used with the present perfect or past tense (it does not really refer to the present).
    so I can say with past tense like this? "I worked hard recently" (similar to "those days"?)
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    so I can say with past tense like this? "I worked hard recently" (similar to "those days"?)
    The past tense does not work well with "recently" for an ongoing action, but it can be used for something with a definite completion: "I read War and Peace recently." It might be better for "recently" to come before the verb in a sentence like this.
     
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