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Making Sense of Grammar
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asked Nov 10, 2020 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by Mickey (7,400 points) | 517 views

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现(xiàn)在(zài) means ‘now’ or ‘current’. To be specific, it means the moment of speaking or a period of time around the speech time. For example,

1)现在我正在吃饭

Xiànzài   wǒ   zhèngzài    chīfàn

Now         I     be doing    eat

‘I am eating now.’

2)现在的年轻人很幸福

Xiànzài   de   niánqīngrén     hěn    xìngfú

Nowadays     young people  very    happy

‘Young people in nowadays are very happy.’

最(zuì)近(jìn) means a period of time before the speech time or after the speech time or during the speech time.

3)最近我去北京开了会

Zuìjìn      wǒ   qù    běijīng      kāile       huì

Recently   I   go to  Beijing   attended  meeting

‘I went to Beijing and had a meeting recently.’

4)最近我正在北京开会

Zuìjìn    wǒ    zhèngzài    běijīng    kāihuì

Recently  I     be doing    Beijing    have a meeting

‘I am recently in Beijing for a meeting.’

5)最近我准备去北京开会

Zuìjìn    wǒ    zhǔnbèi    qù        běijīng    kāihuì

Recently  I     prepare    go to   Beijing   have a meeting

I am prepare to go to Beijing for a meeting recently.

Therefore, you can see 现在 and 最近 can both mean a period of time around the speech time, but 现在 is used to express ‘nowadays’, with the opposite meaning ‘before’.
answered Nov 10, 2020 by Mickey (7,400 points)

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