Adverbs: Still, Yet, Already and Just
In today’s lesson, we are going to look at the meaning and use of the adverbs: still, yet, already and just.
The adverb still is used to say that the action or situation is continuing. It normally goes with the verb, in the middle of the sentence.
- At 10 o’clock last night, the baker’s was still working.
- Are you still looking for an apartment? I’m renting one.
- Can you believe that Brian still lives with his parents?
Although still goes with the verb, in spoken English, you will often hear it at the end of a sentence.
- Do you live at the same address still? (instead of ‘Do you still live at the same address?’)
Yet is an adverb meaning ‘until now’. Since it often refers to the time that began in the past and is continuing in the present, we usually use it in the Present Perfect negative and interrogative sentences. It always occupies the end position in a sentence.
- Have you finished your homework yet?
- I haven’t finished my homework yet.
- Have you got the mail yet?
- I haven’t got the mail yet.
Remember that you can never use yet in statements. We use already instead of yet in affirmative sentences.
- She has already packed her bag. (
She has packed her bag yet.)
Compare still and yet:
- It’s been snowing all night, and it’s still snowing.
- Although it’s been snowing all night, it hasn’t stopped snowing yet.
The adverb already is used to say that something happened sooner than expected. It usually goes with the Present Perfect and Past Perfect Tenses. It takes the position between the auxiliary and the main verb in the sentence.
- Can it be that Darren has already left? He was here a minute ago.
- They had already picked up the kids from school before they came here.
- Peter asked Bob to come with him to the cinema, but he’d already seen the film.
- I’m afraid that I’ve already paid all my bills and have very little money left.
The adverb just refers to the time which was a very short time ago or at the present moment.
- I’ve just seen a postman going down the street (a very short time ago)
- I just can’t believe that uncle Patrick died. (at the present moment)
- Garry arrived at the train station just in time to catch the train.
- Mum’s just finished cooking lunch. Shall we set the table?
Expressions with just
I’ve just about finished my report.
Just like that
Meaning: all of a sudden, unexpectedly.
Can you believe that he moved to Australia, just like that?
Just as well
Meaning: It is a good/lucky thing that…
It’s just as well we brought the umbrellas with us, as it seems like rain.
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