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What's the correct order:

Lessons are not currently being offered.

or

Lessons are currently not being offered.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 9 down vote accepted

The two sentences are equally correct, and mean the same thing, but the emphasis is slightly different: ... are currently not... emphasizes "currently", while ...are not currently... emphasizes "not".

If you're including the word "currently" because the lack of lessons is a temporary situation, you could write "Lessons are currently not being offered." If, on the other hand, you're including the word "currently" just to soften the blow, then you might write "Lessons are not currently being offered."

Note that the difference in emphasis is pretty subtle, and many people will completely miss it. So if one of the sentences flows better for you, it might be the better choice, regardless of its emphasis.

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+1: Nice distinction in graf 2. –  Robusto Nov 23 '10 at 22:12
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Here are the stats from the British National Corpus (BNC), the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA), and Google:

                                BNC    COCA       Google

ARE NOT CURRENTLY (BEING)     18 (1)  70 (8)   72.6M (21.9M) 
ARE CURRENTLY NOT (BEING)      4 (0)  17 (0)   10.1M ( 9.6M)  
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These stats are really interesting, it appears that 'currently not' is not currently on the lead :P –  Diego Nov 23 '10 at 22:37
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I don't see any difference between the two. The meanings of those two sentences are clear and identical.

As RegDwight shows, the former construction is more common, so if you have to choose, I'd go with that one.

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