Recently, lately, in the last few hours, days, weeks etc. all talk about a time going back from the present but without saying exactly back to when – maybe it’s not important or even known exactly how long it goes back. The important thing is the time started in the PAST and continues up to the PRESENT – remember Dave’s tip PAST PRESENT aka Present Perfect in correct grammar speak.
Typical situations: “Have you seen Dave recently?” (It depends on the situation. At work between colleagues, it usually means minutes/hours, in private between family or friends, it could mean hours, days or even weeks) “Yes, I have. He was at the photocopier a few minutes ago.” (N.B. short answer with the auxiliary verb ‘have’ and then go into the PAST – AGO) “No, I haven’t (seen him recently). The last time I saw him was sometime last week.”
What about another: “I’ve been a bit under the weather lately, so I went to the doc yesterday!” (ONLY I really know how long that is. The DOC asked me to be more precise.) But as I didn’t remember the exact time I said “Well, doc, in the last few days, I haven’t really been as fit as a fiddle.” (so if you want to be more precise with your times, you have the phrase ‘in the last few ……….’. NB, just because you see the word ‘last’ in the phrase, don’t use the PAST tense form with it.
QOTD: “Have you heard a great joke lately?” AND is it clean enough to pass on?!?
Recently, lately, (kürzlich/neulich), auxiliary verb (Hilfsverb), to be under the weather (nicht ganz in Form sein), to be as fit as a fiddle (fit wie eine Turnschuhe sein)