Now it’s a adverb demonstrative that can be used in different ways, always linked to a temporal issue. The term derives from agora, which is no longer used and which came from the Latin expression time ago (translatable as “at this time”).
The concept is often used to refer to what is being carried out in the Present, either in the actuality in a general sense or even in the same precise moment in which you are talking.
Suppose a sports journalist is referring to the Portuguese soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo and comments: “Before it stood out in England and Spain, now it is shining in Italy”. What the speaker does is report that, weather behind, Cristiano Ronaldo played at a good level in the english soccer and in the Spanish football, while it currently does so in the italian soccer.
As you can see, in this case now is associated with the present, but not at the exact moment. That is to say: Cristiano Ronaldo may not be “Shining” simultaneously to the words of the journalist since, perhaps, his team is not playing at that moment. However, he regularly competes in the soccer from Italy because it is part of a team from that country.
At other times, now makes mention at the same moment of expression. If a man you are in a work meeting when you receive a phone call from your wife, you can tell her: “Now I’m in a meeting and I can’t speak, I’ll call you as soon as I’m done”. In this situation, the meeting is taking place just as the subject answers the call.
Now as the proper of the current time
Another meaning of this demonstrative adverb allows us to indicate that what has been said belongs to the times that run or what are in force. Typically, in this framework, the term is used before a preposition.
“Today’s women are more independent” it is an expression that indicates a perception about the contemporary feminine gender. The phrase mentions that women of this generation have greater independence than women who lived decades or centuries ago, since social and cultural changes took place that resulted in said autonomy. In the XIX century a woman was forced to obey her husband, for example; at XXI century, no.
A reference to the past and the future
Although usually now refers to the present, the concept can also point to something that happened not long ago or that will take place in the near future. To understand the temporal reference, it is important to pay attention to how the expression is constructed and to take into account the context.
An older man may tell a friend: “Now they have explained to me how to use WhatsApp, so we can now communicate through that application”. This is how he tells you that, days or weeks ago, someone taught him how to use the aforementioned app.
“Now I will show you how this machine works.”, instead, it is a phrase where now is related to him immediate future. After what has been said, the speaker will begin to show how a certain artifact or device.