Just, Yet, Still, Already and No Longer

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16 March 2014 by jessjennison

These words are often used with the present perfect tense although yetstill and already can all be used with other tenses.
Just’ is usually used only with the present perfect tense and it means ‘a short time ago’.

  • I’ve just seen Susan coming out of the cinema.
  • Mike’s just called. Can you ring him back please?
  • Have you just taken my pen? Where has it gone?

In the present perfect, ‘just’ comes between the auxiliary verb (‘have’) and the past participle.

Yet’ is used to talk about something which is expected to happen. It means ‘at any time up to now’. It is used in questions and negatives.

  • Have you finished your homework yet? The speaker expects that the homework will be finished.
  • I haven’t finished it yet. I’ll do it after dinner.

Yet’ usually comes at the end of the sentence.

Still’ is used to talk about something that hasn’t finished – especially when we expected it to finish earlier.

  • I’ve been waiting for over an hour and the bus still hasn’t come.
  • You promised to give me that report yesterday and you still haven’t finished it.

Still’ usually comes in ‘mid-position’
‘Still’ is often used with other tenses as well as the present perfect.

  • I’ve still got all those letters you sent me.
  • Are you still working in the bookshop?

Already’ is used to say that something has happened early – or earlier than it might have happened.

  • I’ve already spent my salary and it’s two weeks before pay day.
  • The train’s already left! What are we going to do?

Already’ usually comes in mid-position.

We use ‘not…any more’ or ‘no longer’ to say that a situation has changed. ‘Any more’ and ‘any longer’ go at the end of a sentence:

  • Sara doesn’t work here any more (or any longer). She left last month. ( not ‘ Sara doesn’t still work here’ )
  • We used to be good friends but we aren’t any more (or any longer).

You can also use no longer. No longer goes in the middle of the sentence:

  • Sara no longer works here.

Compare ‘still’ and ‘not… any more’:

  • Fatima still works here but Sara doesn’t work here any more.

 

Exercise 1. Complete the sentences with just, yet, still or already.

  1. John moved to London 5 years ago and he ____________ lives there now.
  2. When is the doctor coming? He’s __________ here. He arrived ten minutes ago.
  3. I ordered the book last week. I don’t know if it has arrived ______________.
  4. I have been working on this all day but I ____________ haven’t made much progress.
  5. Emma ____________ moved into her new house. She’s very friendly; she ___________ knows her neighbours.
  6. Don’t wake the baby. He’s _____________ asleep.
  7. Peter applied for the job two weeks ago and he ___________ hasn’t had a reply.
  8. The manager quit his job yesterday but the news hasn’t been officially announced __________.
  9. You don’t have to clean the room. I’ve ___________ done it.
  10. I didn’t have time to clean the house so I haven’t done it _________________.
  11. I’ve been cleaning the house all day. I’ve ______________ finished it.
  12. I’ve been really busy all day so I ______________ haven’t cleaned the house.

Conversation Activity

Think of a year in history. The student has to ask questions like ‘Have computers been invented yet?’, ‘Are we still using casette tapes?’ or ‘Has WWII already happened?’. Reply using still, yet, just etc. until the student guess the right year. Now swap over.

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