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What is the difference between zurzeit and bis jetzt? Both in English mean currently, but I don't know if there is a difference in German.

If someone wanted to use them in a sentence, for example,

Until now I haven't received anything

would both make sense?

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Who claims that "bis jetzt" means "currently". I can't find any dictionary stating this. –  Em1 May 26 at 14:31

4 Answers 4

up vote 3 down vote accepted

"Zurzeit"

means something like "at the moment" or "right now"

"Bis jetzt"

means "until now", which means the process has already ended.

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"Bis jetzt" does not necessarily mean that the process has ended. "Bis jetzt ist das Wetter noch gut, aber der Wetterbericht sagt für heute abend Regen voraus". It means that a possible status change is expected. –  elena May 26 at 14:50
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'up to now' might be a better translation. –  frlan May 26 at 15:01

"Zurzeit" means right now, at this moment, presently, currently:

Das Geschäft ist zurzeit geschlossen. The store is currently closed.

"Bis jetzt" means so far, until now, (not) yet.

Bis jetzt haben wir das noch jedes Jahr so gemacht. Bis jetzt ist er noch nicht gekommen.

I don't think currently is a good choice to express that second case.

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As a side note... shouldn't it be "zur Zeit"? –  Emanuel May 26 at 18:56
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No, only zurzeit is considered correct, provided you mean "now": duden.de/rechtschreibung/zurzeit">; Duden offers the following examples: sie ist zurzeit krank, aber sie lebte zur Zeit Karls des Großen –  Ingmar May 26 at 20:41

would both make sense?

No. You cannot use zurzeit here. You'd use Bis jetzt... which corresponds Until now.

Zurzeit denotes a current state, similar to derzeit, aktuell, momentan, im Moment, gerade, jetzt

One difference between these is the usual period of time, this state continues. For instance in the two sentences

Ich lege gerade einen Garten an.
Ich lege zurzeit einen Garten an.

the first one is about, that you are working on right now while in the second case, you are talking about a project which may take some days or weeks and you're not necessarily working on it right now.

The second point is, that such a state may change sooner or later. How it is understood usually depends on what you're talking about.

Zurzeit schreibt sie selten Emails.

Maybe because, she currently has little time or whatsoever, but that state won't continue forever.

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Zur Zeit = at this time

bis jetzt = until now

jetzt = now = currently

They are not the same.

Zur Zeit --> At this time we don't know what the status is.

Bis jetzt --> Until now nothing has changed.

jetzt/momentan --> At the moment / currently / right now everything is working fine.

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