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A person or a thing that is late is not on time.

  • Jane was ten minutes late to work this morning.
  • She woke up late.
  • She went to sleep late last night.
  • She was late to a meeting.

This is an easy word to use because it can be both an adjective and an adverb:

  • John is late. (adjective)
  • He woke up late. (adverb)
  • The plane is late. (adjective)
  • The plane arrived late. (adverb)
  • Sarah was late to class. (adjective)
  • She came late to class. (adverb)
  • Sorry, you’re too late. (adjective)

running lateHe’s running late.

The word "late" also describes a time that is at the end of something, usually at the end of a day:

  • They had a late meeting yesterday.
  • They stayed up late.
  • They worked late last night.

The word "late" is often used when describing the end of a period of time, such as a decade or a century:

  • Late 1960s rock music is dramatically different from that of the early 1960s.
  • The last President of the 20th century was Bill Clinton. (…of the United States)
  • Hector is in his late forties. He’s 48 years old.

You can use "late" as an adjective when describing someone who has died. In this case, "late" goes before the noun, not after it:

  • She misses her late husband. He died two years ago.
  • Our late mother would have enjoyed seeing that she had so many grandchildren.
  • The late Jack Benny was a great performer who was loved my millions.

The word "lately" is different from "late," however, you can say "as of late" and it has about the same meaning as "lately," which means recently.

  • He’s been acting strangely as of late. (as of late = lately)
  • No one has seen Dean around the office as of late.
  • As of late, she hasn’t been feeling very well.
  • She hasn’t been feeling well as of late.

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December 13, 2013



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