Learning English

Inspiring language learning since 1943

English Change language
1

Unit 1: English In A Minute
Give us a minute and we'll give you English

Select a unit

  1. 1 English In A Minute

Session 83

Welcome to English In A Minute. Give us a minute and we'll give you a hot tip about English. Grammar, vocabulary... there's so much to learn! And all taught by your favourite BBC Learning English staff!

Activity 1

6 ways to use 'late'

Do you have a minute to spare to learn some English? Dan's stayed at the studio late just to explain 6 uses of late to you! Give us 60 seconds and we'll give you the English

Watch the video and complete the activity

Show transcript Hide transcript

Dan
Hi, everyone! Late is a very useful word. Find out why on this English In A Minute.

The most common meaning of late is 'after the correct time'. It can go before a noun as an adjective. I had a late breakfast so I took the late train. Or it can modify a verb as an adverb. I arrived late to class because the train came late.

And don't forget, you can be late for something. I'm going to be late for my own wedding!

Late can also mean 'near the end of a period of time'. We didn't go to bed until late at night. We often talk about periods in history this way. The internet was invented in the late 20th century.

You can also combine late with 'of' to mean 'recently'. I've been using the internet a lot of late.

Finally, late can be used to refer to a person who has died – usually recently.

Look at the time! I've got to go! I'm late!

Not dead!

6 ways to use 'late'

After the correct time
Late
can mean 'after the correct time'. It can go before a noun as an adjective (see example 1), or modify a verb as an adverb (see example 2). We can also use the preposition 'for' to connect 'late' to an event.

  1. I had a late breakfast so I took the late train.
  2. I arrived late to class because the train came late.
  3. I'm going to be late for my own wedding!

Near the end of a period of time
Late 
can mean 'near the end of a period of time'. We often talk about periods of history in this way.

  • We didn't go to bed until late at night.
  • The internet was invented in the late 20th century.

Recently
Combine 'of' and late to mean 'recently'

  • I've been using the internet a lot of late.

Dead
Late can refer to a person who has died - usually recently.

  • After the funeral, she donated her late husband's possessions to charity.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

To do

Try our quiz to see how well you've learned today's language. 

English In A Minute Quiz

3 Questions

Test your understanding of this lesson with our quiz!

Congratulations you completed the Quiz
Excellent! Great job! Bad luck! You scored:
x / y

Downloads

You can download a PDF document for this episode here.

More

We hope you enjoyed English in a Minute. You can find more episodes here