Stop Saying "These Days / Nowadays" Every Sentence!

babo level: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆


Too many Korean ESL students begin every sentence with "these days" or "nowadays" . It is completely unnecessary, and manifests into a bad habit.


Incorrect:

What's your favorite sport?

These days, I love baseball.

How old are you?

Nowadays, I'm 33 years old.

How do you spend your weekends?

These days, I spend my weekends studying for my upcoming exam.


Correct:

What's your favorite sport?

I love baseball.

How old are you?

I'm 34.

How do you spend your weekends?

I spend my weekend studying.


When to use "these days" / "nowadays":

Use 'these days' and 'nowadays' when you are contrasting the past and the present. For example:

Do you still live in Seoul?

I haven't lived in for over three years now. These days, I'm living South of Seoul in Cheongju

Do you still work for Jeju Airlines?

I used to, but three months ago I quit. These days, I'm working at Korean Air; the pay is much better.

What instrument did you play as a child, and do you still play it?

When I was a child I played the piano, but nowadays, I don't have the time nor the talent to practice, so I quit.

Notice how all the above examples are comparing the past and the present? This is when to use "these days" and 'nowadays.'


Tips:

1.) Many English speakers use "these days" and "nowadays" and it's not a big problem. However, I've met so many advanced level ESL students who start every sentence with this English pattern. It is redundant and becomes annoying fast! Use it sparingly.

2.) Now, recently, currently, as of late, at the moment, and lately, are all suitable words to use in exchange of "these days" and "nowadays".



Vocabulary:

  • manifest: To become more and more obvious. "His habit of starting every sentence with "these days" began to manifest into a much bigger problem.
  • contrast: To be very different from something else. For example: day and night, or past and present. "I'm surprised they get along so well their personalities contrast so much."
  • redundant: No longer needed or useful. "His speech kept making the same points over and over, it became quite redundant."
  • sparingly: To not use of give a lot of something; a little of. "My mother told me to use my credit card as sparingly as possible.."
  • suitable: Good or appropriate for a particular situation; fitting, acceptable. "I think any teacher would be more suitable than Dan for teaching English."


Daily Expressions & Idioms:

1.) "It's highly (un)likely": When the chance of something happening is very high or very low.

"I will try my best, but I think it's highly unlikely that I'll get the job." "No one is more suitable for the promotion than him. It's highly likely he'll get the promotion."

2.) "It's out of my hands": Something you have no control over.

"Can you tell your boss to hire me? I did my best and got you an interview, whether he hires you or not is out of my hands."