Difference between “recently” and “lately”

I have posted a topic using this sentence:

I have picked some fictions to read lately.

RegDwight edited this sentence to:

I have recently picked up several works of fiction and begun to read them.

What is the difference between lately and recently in this context, and why is it more appropriate to use recently?


I think the difference is that lately has more of a continuous or repetitive meaning (similar to the perfect aspect/tense), and doesn’t work well for individual events, while recently can be used for both.

For example,

  • “I went to the library lately” is ungrammatical, but “I’ve been going to the library a lot lately” is fine. (“I went to the library recently” and “I’ve been going to the library a lot recently” are also both fine.)
  • “I haven’t seen her lately” and “I haven’t seen her recently” are both fine.
  • “Have you been to the movies lately?” and `Have you been to the movies recently?” are both fine.

I’m hoping someone else can elaborate on this, though.

Source : Link , Question Author : Sarawut Positwinyu , Answer Author : RegDwigнt

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