The Difference between STILL, YET and ALREADY in English

Still and yet and already are words which often cause trouble for students of English. So let's try and distinguish clearly between them.


1. STILL

a. Situations that continue to the present time. It is used in the past present or future. Still is placed in front of the main verb:

Examples:

  • It is still raining.
  • I still live in London.
  • They’ve been married for 30 years and are still in love.
  • I still meet my friends from my schooldays now and then.
  • Is your sister still at university?
  • They are still living in the old farmhouse.
  • We will still be at work when you arrive.

b. Action that is not expected because of something else

Examples:

  • He was sick but he still went to work.
  • I studied a lot though I still didn’t pass the exam.

Still is placed after the verb to be and before an adjective:

  • Her parents are still alive.
  • We were unlucky with the weather in Greece but we were still happy with the holiday.

2. YET

"Yet" is used in a negative sentence or in a question. "Yet" is placed at the end of a sentence or question.

To ask if something expected has happened.

Examples:

  • Have the test results arrived yet?
  • I’m hungry. Is dinner already yet?
  • Has she emailed you yet?

To say something expected hasn’t happened.

Examples:

  • I haven’t done my homework yet.
  • It’s almost 11 o’clock and John hasn’t woken up yet.
  • Kevin hasn’t registered for class yet.
  • I haven’t finished my breakfast yet.

3. ALREADY

An action has happened sooner than expected.

  • I have just finished lunch but I’m already hungry.
  • I think Mary already knows about the surprise party.
  • The plane had already landed when the pilot announced that there would be a delay in getting to the gate.
  • There are already about ten people here
  • We already knew that he was coming to visit.
  • His family had already heard the news.
  • Joe’s already here, so we can begin.

Already is placed after the verb to be and before the adjective like "still":

  • Fifteen minutes after the play had started we were already bored.
  • They knew that they were already late for the meeting.

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The Difference between STILL, YET and ALREADY in English

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