Late is an adjective and an adverb, describing an event that happened after the
▶️ We had a late breakfast at 10:00.
(the usual time for breakfast is earlier, around 7-9 AM)
▶️ The bus arrived thirty minutes late.
(the bus arrived thirty minutes after the correct time on the schedule)
Avoid this common error: if you arrive late for an appointment, don’t say “Sorry for
late” or “Sorry for the late.” The correct expression is “Sorry I’m late.”
Delay is a noun and a verb, describing a cause for something to be late:
▶️ We were delayed by heavy traffic.
(the traffic caused us to be late)
▶️ The delay in the project was caused by a miscommunication.
(the miscommunication caused the project to fall behind schedule)
Postpone is a verb – it is when you choose to do something at a later time than
planned. Usually “delay” involves factors beyond your control (like the traffic or
weather), whereas “postpone” is a more conscious decision to change the schedule.
▶️ Three team members aren’t available on Tuesday – let’s postpone the
meeting until Thursday.
▶️ My daughter got sick, so we postponed our camping trip until the following