Chinese-to-English dictionaries seem to translate '到现在' as 'up to now' or 'until now'. In English this often implies a recent change in conditions rather than a continuation of conditions; however, in Chinese I don't seem to see this same implication.

Is this correct, that does '到现在' not imply a recent change? can it ever imply this by itself? If not, how would I convey the English logic (implied recent change) in Chinese?

Examples in English:

We haven't heard from him until now.

Up to now, we hadn't heard from him.

Both imply we just heard from him today or very recently.

  • 1
    how about giving some examples to facilitate the discussion?
    – aafulei
    Commented Dec 30, 2018 at 3:48

2 Answers 2


No, it does not imply a recent change.

「到現在」does literally translate to until now, but their usage is different, as you've already noted (a continuation of conditions).

  • In English, until now means practically the same thing as until recently.
  • In Chinese,「到現在」means something like up to this very day in English.「到現在我還在...」means up to this very day, I'm still...
  • To say the equivalent of English until now (that is, implying a change in condition), you should say something similar to「到目前爲止...」.「爲止」is an explicit statement that stops the otherwise implied continuation.

Better you have your examples and explain how English works.

In Chinese, '到现在' can implies either a recent change or a continuation of a condition depending on how you use it.

For example,

你怎么到现在才来 // a recent change - he showed up now.

你怎么到现在还不承认 // a continuation of a condition (不承认)

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