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Which is correct? Is it "as of late" or "of late", is the "as" part necessary?

Also, can you give me a couple of different examples of sentences using the two? Is there a word that is used similarly to those particular words, that i can use to substitute the words "as of late" and "of late" with, so i don't get confused and know how to use them?

Does the following sentence "and as of late he has agreed to return home" make sense? If not, then can you restate the sentence?

EDIT: The thing is I've already used the word recently (twice) in the same paragraph and i'm meant to be writing a formal letter. Is the sentence correct or not? Because this is the first time I've used this site and the answers are "disorderly".

Thanks again :)

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There seems to be some evidence that as of late (in the sense of recently) was perhaps a bit more common a century or two ago, but I think including as has never been the norm. For all that, I can't really imagine a context where OP's example...

"and as of late he has agreed to return home"

...would be considered "natural", even if we removed as. The reason it doesn't work is because of late in such contexts means during the time period stretching from the present moment to the relatively recent past. That's to say, things happening of late are normally things which either take some time to complete, or which can happen repeatedly (unlike, say, a single act of agreement).

As @Edwin succinctly notes, lately/of late apply to durative (rather than "punctive") recent actions.


In OP's case, the natural phrasing would be...

"and he [has] recently agreed to return home"

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  • Or "and he has lately agreed ...", which connects to the original quote. – andy256 Mar 16 '14 at 22:15
  • @andy256: You might just about get away with that, I suppose. There is one instance of "he has lately agreed" in Google Books. But it looks like a citation of a Victorian original, and against that you have to weigh over 3300 instances of "he has recently agreed". – FumbleFingers Mar 16 '14 at 22:28
  • Interesting numbers. I must check who that brilliant author is! – andy256 Mar 16 '14 at 22:38
  • @andy256: 'Lately' seems to be used more for durative rather than punctive recent practices / states. 'Recently' is used with either. This compares with FF's analysis. – Edwin Ashworth Mar 16 '14 at 22:57
  • @Edwin: Those are excellent words to identify the distinction! I'll add them to the answer text. – FumbleFingers Mar 16 '14 at 23:00
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The phrase as of late is generally used in the same sense as the words recently or lately. This diction would fit best when, perhaps, inquiring (a person) of their recent state of being. Example: "How have you been as of late?" can be used when asking how a person has been lately. Another common usage of the phrase as of late is "You've been very busy as of late!", which would also be perfectly acceptable when making a remark to a person's behavior. Your sentence, "and as of late he has agreed to return home", doesn't make sense to me because, as aforementioned, as of late is indicative of a something happening only recently. I believe that your sentence would sound far better if written as: "And, before long, he agreed to return home." or "Lately, his perspective shifted and he has finally agreed to come home." However, I do not know in which context your sentence is being used, so I cannot offer much help there. My apologies!

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