How to Use Words That Tell Time

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Are you having a difficult time using the words already, yet, and still? Or, are you confused about what they mean? Already, yet, and still are adverbs that we use to add time references to our sentences.

Already and Yet are time-related words and very useful when we use the PERFECT verb tense, example “I have gone”.

I haven’t gone out yet.

I have gone out already.

1) ALREADY. This is something that happened before now.

Examples:

  • I already went beyond my budget for this month, so I didn’t buy the new dress.
  • I don’t want to visit Malaysia. I’ve already been there, and I want to go somewhere else for vacation.
  • I have already cleaned my room.
  • I have already put the salad in the fridge.

2) YET. This is something that has not happened before now, but may happen at a future time.

  • You haven’t visited Palawan yet? It’s beautiful!

(It’s implied that she will or should visit Palawan in the future.)

  • I haven’t started my project yet, because I was on a business trip last week.

(It’s implied that he will start his project soon especially now that he is back from his trip.)

  • I can’t believe he hasn’t called yet.
  • Don’t tell them I’m in my room. I’m not ready yet.

Notice that ‘yet’ is often used with the negative because it is something that a person has not done in the past. So when you use ‘yet’, it is associated with have not, has not, is not, and do not.

Here are more examples. When somebody asks you: “Are you going to take your medicine?” Your answer can either be:

“I haven’t taken it yet”

(This means you haven’t taken your medicine before now, but you intend to take it soon.)

“I have already taken it.”

(This means you have taken your medicine before now.)

Already and Yet also have functions when asking questions:

  • Have you done your homework yet?
  • Have you cooked lunch yet?

(The questions are asked to find out: is it done?)

Already’ can be used to express surprise depending on how you use the question.

  • You already finished the test?! That was fast!
  • Dean already left?!
  • The movie is finished already?!
  • Betty has already talked to the manager?!

In these examples, the questions are actually statements of surprise.

Notice also that the placement can change. They are either in the middle or at the end of the sentence.

  • I have not yet met John’s new girlfriend.
  • I haven’t met John’s new girlfriend yet.
  • I have already been to Greece.
  • I have been to Greece already.

3) Still. This means that something exists from the past, and continues to happen now without change.

Examples:

  • “No, I still haven’t visited Palawan Island, but I hope to go this summer!”

(This implies that she hasn’t been to Palawan in the past and never been there in the present moment.)

  • “The conference is still ongoing.”

(This means that the conference has already started and is not yet finished.)

  • Do you still want to go to the beach with me?
  • I still love her even if she left me for another man.
  • Sheena is still eager to know more about Arab Princesses even after the lecture is finished.

From the examples above, I hope it’s now easier for you to distinguish between already, yet, and still. Go ahead and practice writing your own sentences, and have your LingualBox teacher check them.

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I have a passion for the English language because it is such a powerful tool for creativity and personal development. I've been writing articles since I was in High School. I represented my school in English writing competitions in the city, regional, and national levels. When I was in college, I wrote a short story which was published in the University Literary Portfolio. In 2006, I worked as a call center agent in Cebu City. In 2007 up to 2008, I worked as an English accent trainer in a startup call center company. I have also been offering ESL lessons as a freelance tutor since February 2016.