Still, Yet or Already?
Updated: Jun 25, 2018
The weather forecast said it would clear up this afternoon but it’s #still raining!
We’ve only just got to the beach and it’s raining #already!
I really want to go out fishing this afternoon. Is it sunny #yet?
If you don’t clearly understand when these three little words are used, the #grammar of still, yet and already can easily be muddled up. The important thing to remember is that they all have something to do with the speaker’s expectations. Let’s take a quick look at the meanings of each and how they are used.
Still means that something is continuing, usually beyond the time that is expected.
So if you’re a teenager asleep on a Saturday morning (after a fabulous night out) and it’s 11.30am, your mum might say… “Is she still asleep?!” (I’m not sure why mums are so often surprised by this since it’s pretty common among teenagers…)
With negatives, still comes before the negative verb: “It’s now 11.45am and she still hasn’t woken up.”
Already means that something has happened sooner that you expected. So it’s kind of like the opposite of still.
This is kind of word you’d use on a Sunday morning when you’re hoping to get a lie-in but your small children have already woken up, gone into the lounge and put the TV on far too loud and are watching cartoons (that always seem to have those irritating unrealistic high-pitched voices…) “Are the kids up already?!”
With negatives, already comes after the negative verb (but before the second verb): “They’re not already watching TV, are they?!”
Yet means that we are expecting something to happen. It is used with questions and negatives, and goes at the end of the sentence.
So if you’re in the car and it’s a long journey and you happen to have kids in the back seat, they’re likely to ask you (every two minutes), “Are we there yet?”
So that’s a brief explanation of those three important little words. You can use them in all kinds of situations to talk about your expectations of something and the reality of what actually happens in life (so you can see why they’re so useful, right?)
BEFORE YOU GO... check out the English bytes from today's post:
to be muddled up: to be confused about the difference between two or more things e.g. I am muddled up with the spellings of 'desert' and 'dessert'. Which is which? (Find out the answer here...)