We use still to show that something continues up to a time in the past present or future. It goes in front of the main verb:

The children still enjoyed playing games.
They are still living next door.
We will still be on holiday.

… or after the present simple or the past simple of be:

Her grandfather is still alive.
They were still unhappy.

We use already to show that something has happened sooner than it was expected to happen. Like still, it comes before the main verb:

The car is OK. I’ve already fixed it.
It was early but they were already sleeping.

… or after the present simple or past simple of the verb be:

It was early but we were already tired.
We are already late.

We use yet in a negative or interrogative clause, usually with perfective aspect (especially in British English), to show that something has not happened by a particular time. yet comes at the end of the sentence:

It was late, but they hadn’t arrived yet.
Have you fixed the car yet?
She won’t have sent the email yet.

Exercise

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Comments

Hi guys!! I am bit confused about the possible meanings yet may indicate when used in a sentence when meaning other than the one mentioned above in the grammar explanation. For instance, the one I quite below from Poe's "The Purloined Letter":

"oh, Dupin you will be the death of me yet!"

Could you please shed some light on this?

Thanks

Hello Siveboy,

It's not very common to use 'yet' in affirmative sentences, which is why it's not explained above. When it is used, usually in more formal or literary contexts, it shows that we think a situation is continuing and that this is contrary to our expectations. 

I'm afraid I don't remember The Purloined Letter well enough to be able to explain this sentence in context. Does it make sense in that light? If not, please let us know.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you so much, way clearer now Kirk. I found it odd to have yet as an adverb in affirmative sentence. ☺

Is 'Yet' use in perfect tense only? Can I use it in simple tense?
Thanks

Hello asadbd,

It's perfectly fine to use 'yet' with the simple or continuous present to talk about something which may happen in the future but is not true at the moment of speaking. For example:

He doesn't work here yet.

It isn't raining yet.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello.
Could you tell me please what is the difference between sentences "Have you fixed the car yet?" and "Have you finished that book already?"? As for me, they are identical. So why in the first sentence "yet" is used but in the second: "already"?

Hello msrom,

'Already' here carries a sense of the action being done earlier than expected. We might say this when we are surprised that it has been done so quickly or so soon.

'Yet' does not have this meaning. Depending on the context it could be neutral (just a question) or it could even suggest that we are a little impatient.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks, Peter for your explanation.

Hi Team ,
Sorry for my incorrect question! I think in " They have not found the cure for AIDS yet." the meaning is they have tried many times but it is unsuccessfully. Does " They have not yet found the cure for AIDS. " mean the same or different?
Thank you a lot.

Hello Tanya Peneva,

Both sentences have the same meaning. It may be that many unsuccessful attempts have been made, or it may be that there have been no attempts - it is not clear from the sentence itself, though it may be from the context. For example, I could say:

Humanity has not yet walked on Mars

or

Humanity has not walked on Mars yet

There has been no attempt to send people to Mars so far.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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