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What is the difference between current and contemporary?

Help on English vocab, including idioms, slang and sayings

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What is the difference between current and contemporary?

Postby DennisOh » Sat Sep 23, 2006 7:51 am

Anyone can tell me the difference between current and contemporary?
Thank you so much for your help :o
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Re: What is the difference between current and contemporary?

Postby Josef » Fri Aug 21, 2009 12:35 pm

current is an adjective that means "belonging to the present time, happening now":
I like to follow current events.
My current job will end next year.

It also means "in common or general use":
Some English words are no longer current.

contemporary is an adjective that means "living or occurring at the same time":
This battle scene was painted by a contemporary artist.
It also has a meaning similar to "current" (belonging to the present time) but is used in different contexts:
Doctors say that obesity is a serious problem in our contemporary society.
Do you like contemporary art?


contemporary is also a noun that means "a person or thing living or existing at the same time as another":
He was a contemporary of Shakespeare.
I still keep in touch with my contemporaries at school.
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Re: What is the difference between current and contemporary?

Postby LEATRICE » Sun Aug 30, 2009 8:54 am

Hmmm.. I'm still a bit confused }:
The fashion of the world is to avoid cost, and you encounter it.
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Re: What is the difference between current and contemporary?

Postby Josef » Sun Aug 30, 2009 6:16 pm

You're welcome to try making up a few example sentences and someone will tell you if you're right or not.
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Re: What is the difference between current and contemporary?

Postby kittyhoang » Tue Sep 01, 2009 8:24 am

I am confused with the meaning of "current" and "contemporary" when both have meaning "belong to the present time"

Josef wrote:current is an adjective that means "belonging to the present time, happening now":
I like to follow current events.
My current job will end next year.


"contemporary" also has a meaning similar to "current" (belonging to the present time) but is used in different contexts:
Doctors say that obesity is a serious problem in our contemporary society.
Do you like contemporary art?



So can I use "contemporary" instead of "current" in example sentence "My contempory job will end next year"?
Is it the same meaning?
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Re: What is the difference between current and contemporary?

Postby Josef » Fri Sep 04, 2009 10:17 am

kittyhoang wrote:So can I use "contemporary" instead of "current" in example sentence "My contemporary job will end next year"? Is it the same meaning?

It's the same meaning but we would not use "contemporary" in this context. The normal, idiomatic sentence would be:
My current job will end next year.
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Re: What is the difference between current and contemporary?

Postby kittyhoang » Fri Sep 04, 2009 3:57 pm

Josef wrote:
kittyhoang wrote:So can I use "contemporary" instead of "current" in example sentence "My contemporary job will end next year"? Is it the same meaning?

It's the same meaning but we would not use "contemporary" in this context. The normal, idiomatic sentence would be:
My current job will end next year.


Does it have any rules? Like adding "ED" to the past participle of regular verbs with ending "t, d", and we pronounce /id/ ect...

Or we must learn the usage of current and contemporary without rule, must we?
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Re: What is the difference between current and contemporary?

Postby Tukanja » Fri Sep 04, 2009 10:18 pm

He was my grandfather's contemporary (noun) but his son is my contemporary (noun) for the father's married late.

The word contemporary should be used as either a noun or adjective.
The word current is usually an adjective but currently is an adverb of time.

Currently I am about to buy an excavator with a few different toothed buckets and a hydraulic hammer and also either a hydraulic or mechanical quick-hitch for easy exchange of the attachments. (Contemporarly I am about to ... doesn't make any sense. The grammar dosen't recognise an adverb form of the word contemporary)

I would like to add that there is a third word which could make some confusion too. :lol:

Nowadays people use cars instead of horses.

Pls someone explain the difference between the currently and the nowadays. ;-)

P.S. The word current also means a movement or a flow of something.

When outer electrons get more energy then needed to stay in the particular orbits in the fictitious, conceived but normaly positioned shells which take place in the atoms but by way of being placed around the nuclei the electrons jump across to a similar orbit in the next door outer shells of the next door atoms.
Another electrons from some other very closed atoms to the first ones jump into the mentioned free places in the first mentioned orbits. Circuit must be of a closed type and the all is going in a circle.
Then we usually see the jumping like an electrical current.
Though this was very hard for me to speak about these things in English even I ought to have tried! :mrgreen:
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Re: What is the difference between current and contemporary?

Postby pedagog » Sat Sep 05, 2009 10:32 am

Current denotes the most recent one of a series. The use of contemporary to mean modern or up to date is a new one and has become accepted not because it is good style, but due to repeated encounters with this use. We often use words in ways that are not really correct, but if the meaning is clear to most people, the English teachers must simply roll their eyes. What is "modern" now will probably be denoted differently in the next century. Will anyone call Picasso's work modern in the year 2300? You will be safer to avoid using contemporary to mean recent. Always use modern (if you must), recent, or current instead. If your writing lasts for one hundred years, someone might smile at your idea that events of 2009 were modern. Uses that are acceptable: "current trends in fashion", "the current regime", "modern art", "a contemporary of Shakespeare". Uses that you should avoid: "a modern method of the Dark Ages", "contemporary furniture".
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