PRESENTLY / AT PRESENT


This is the holiday season – Christmas and New Year. This is a time for giving. Not Covid-19, of course, but best wishes and gifts. Another word for gift is present, the word you can see in the title of this post. However, the meaning of PRESENTLY and AT PRESENT has nothing to do with the holiday season or birthdays or anniversaries. Instead, they are used as time expressions. Let me show you how.

[On the phone]

A: Can I speak to Ms Brown, please?

B: I’m sorry but she’s in a meeting at present. Would you like to leave a message?

A: Can you ask her to call me back immediately after the meeting? It’s rather urgent.

What is the meaning of at present?

[In the classroom]

Student: Is it OK if I leave the room for a few minutes? I need to make a call.

Teacher: We’ll be taking a break presently. Can you wait a few minutes?

Student: Oh. Sure. It’s not that important.

What is the meaning of presently?

Email me your answers for my correction / feedback: sandro.tefl@gmail.com.

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