False Friends: Oft Confused Time expressions

In the (not this) moment is a good place to be, a la carpe diem, but if you just mean now (which in English means now, not in a few minutes or a few minutes ago) you probably mean at the moment.

Soon/early (both translate as pronto): Potentially tricky concept division here. Soon is generally in reference to now, while early usually means before an understood or arranged time. I’ll get it done soon would mean that you won’t have to wait long, but you talk about being early for an appointment/date (not exactly the same thing) /class/interview, etc. If you get up early (Sorry, no single-word equivielnt for madrugar), it means compared to normal or what one would assume (not asumir) to be normal.

Last/latest/latter/later: Last is more final, latest suggests most recent. With published books, for example, Shakespeare’s last play works because he won’t be writing any more, whereas you might talk about about Stephen King’s latest novel, as he’s still at it. Later translates as más tarde or después, while latter (with two ts and a different vowel sound) is usually paired with former, to mean something line first and last, as in the former problem you mention is something we could deal with, but the latter is a whole other kettle of fish.

At the time (then, at that point), e.g. At the time I thought she was kidding, but now I see she’d been dead serious.

At that time (in those days / during that period), e.g. At that time no one carried cell phones, so it was always good to cary a dime in case you needed to find a phone booth.

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