Advertisements
you're reading...
Words

Note 137 – The use of the word ‘presently’


How do use the word ‘presently’ in a sentence?  My grandparents used it when I was a child when saying something like “we will be eating the cake presently”. I remember the meaning to be later – sometime in the future.

According to The Writer’s Handbook by Martin Mander & Stephen Curtis (Penguin Reference Library), the meaning is dependent on the verb tense.  In the above example, the future tense was used “we will be eating…”.  If it had read “we are presently eating the cake”, then it would mean now.

The Writer’s Handbook also explains that British English has historically used presently to mean ‘soon’, whereas it is now more common to mean ‘now’.  The latter is apparently how the Scottish and Americans always used it anyway.

For those of you that read yesterday’s blog, the previous sentence is another example of the use of the word ‘latter’.

That’s it for today.  This blog forms part of my writing challenge. Don’t forget that you can subscribe to receive my daily blogs by email so that you don’t miss any. Just click ‘sign me up’ on the home page. Alternatively you can follow my blogs on Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/madeirasandra or my new Tips and Luxuries Facebook page. Requests for future blogs (punctuation/grammar/writing tips) are always welcome.

Until tomorrow…

Sandra

My writing challenge: http://wp.me/p1x6Ui-4

This blog: https://mywritingnotebook.wordpress.com

My other blog: http://sandramadeira.wordpress.com

My website: www.tipsandluxuries.com (includes the introduction to my upcoming book ‘A Gift for Stressed and Busy Parents’)

Twitter: @madeirasandra and @tipsandluxuries

Reference list:

The Pocket Writer’s Handbook by Martin Mander & Stephen Curtis (Penguin Reference Library)

Advertisements

About Sandra Madeira

I am a full-time working mum with a passion for writing and inspiring others. Please let me know what you think of my blog - constructive comments welcome. Have a great day Sandra Freelance Writer www.sandramadeira.com

Discussion

One thought on “Note 137 – The use of the word ‘presently’

  1. I had always thought that “presently” meant soon. And I also thought I was the only one who knew that definition. So, to save myself embarrassment in from of everyone else in my universe who thinks it means “now,” I never, ever use the word.

    Posted by Laura | September 15, 2011, 2:31 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Advertisements

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 432 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 147,029 hits
%d bloggers like this: