Translation:Recently my aunt has been going to bed late.
It describes a repetitive action (qualified in time by the "recently/lately"), you could grammatically use either ложится or ложилась, the difference being that with the former, this is something that was happening "recently" and is still happening, whereas if you used the past tense ложилась it would mean that though it did happen recently, it may no longer be the case now. Either one should be correct with this English though. I had a drop-down choice exercise, so it wasn't an issue.
Sorry, just starting to think of these things:
В последнее время is a set phrase, yes?
And only the время part declines? Or does it at all?
Yes, в последнее время (=recently) is a set phrase. The experssion до последнего времени (until recently) also exists, but is seldom used, до недавнего времени being more preferable. За последнее время means "of late" / "in recent times"
Are в последнее время and недавно essentially interchangeable or is the latter strictly past tense and not ongoing?
Isn't that the Oxford English Dictionary definition #1 of "recently"?
Anyone else, please chime in, but it seems like the difference in usage is as follows: the first phrase relates to events that occurred not long ago but are still ongoing; the second relates to events that occurred not long ago but are no longer ongoing.
Is that a fair understanding of when to use one phrase versus the other?
The Wiktionary translation for "в последнее время" is "these days," which maybe helps get at the contrast with "recently." Somewhat subtle, but I'd speculate that if you were comparing, say, the 1980s to the 1800s, "недавно" might be a better choice. Of course I'm not a native speaker.
lmao, why you should not transliterate: I wrote "In recent times my aunt goes to bed late" and was obviously marked wrong, lol, I was on auto mode
It seems fairly self-explanatory to me - recently your aunt started going to bed at midnight instead of 10 P.M.
No, it doesn't. "Ложится" literally means "puts / is putting / has been putting herself/himself/itself into a horizontal position" / "lies down". The word often substitutes for the phrase "ложится спать" (="goes to bed") as is the case in the given sentence.
The Russian verb is in the present, which combined with "в последнее время" makes present perfect continuous, "has been [verb]ing," (for which Russian doesn't have a direct equivalent) the obvious choice.