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'still' and 'no longer', 'already' and 'yet'

Level: beginner

still

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:

Even when my father was 65, he still enjoyed playing tennis.
It's past midnight but she's still doing her homework.
I won't be at work next week. We'll still be on holiday.

or after the present simple or past simple of be:

Her grandfather has been very ill, but he is still alive.
We tried to help them, but they were still unhappy.

no longer

We use no longer to show the idea of something stopping in the past, present or future. It goes in front of the main verb:

At that moment, I realised that I no longer loved him.
We no longer live in England. We've moved to France.
From midnight tonight, Mr Jones will no longer be the president.

or after the present simple or past simple of be:

Sadly, Andrew and Bradley are no longer friends. They had an argument.
It was no longer safe to stay in the country. We had to leave immediately.

In a negative sentence, we use any longer or any more. It goes at the end of the sentence:

We don't live in England any longer.
It wasn't safe to stay in the country any more.

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still and no longer 2

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already

We use already to show that something has happened sooner than it was expected to happen. It goes in front of 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 be:

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

Sometimes already comes at the end of the sentence for emphasis:

It's very early but they are sleeping already.
It was early but we were tired already.
When we got there, most people had arrived already.

yet

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 a sentence:

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

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Comments

Hello. Is the following sentence correct? What is the rule?
No longer does Tom smoke.
Thank you.

Hi Ahmed Imam,

Yes! The sentence is correct. This sentence structure has an inversion - that is, the auxiliary verb (does) is added, and it appears before the subject (Tom). We do this when the sentence begins with a negative or a limiting adverb (No longer).

Here are some other examples of negative/limiting adverbs that require inversion in the sentence:

  • Never have I heard something so shocking.
  • Rarely do I eat meat.
  • Nowhere could I find my phone.

This sentence structure sounds quite formal in style. In more general language use, it's possible to say the same thing without inversion - by putting the negative/limiting adverb later in the sentence, not as the first word, e.g. Tom no longer smokes / I have never heard something so shocking.

Best wishes,

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Team,

This house is large but is old fashioned.

This house is large and is old fashioned.

This house is large yet is old fashioned.

Which one is correct? I want to know both about the omission of subject and correct coordinating conjunction as well.

Hello Zaidch,

All of those sentences are grammatically correct, though 'old-fashioned' should be hyphenated. You could also omit the repeated verb 'is'.

 

The conjunctions carry meaning. And shows that two ideas agree or at least are not in conflict. But and yet both show contrast. Yet is more formal than but and is more common in literary texts than everyday speech, I would say.

 

In your example, if the speaker thinks that houses which are old-fashioned are normally also large then and is suitable. If, on the other hand, the speaker thinks that it is unusual or surprising for something to be both large and old-fashioned then but or yet is more likely.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

It's really an helpful tip.

Hi Oleg

The full context is important in most any sentence, but yes, 'yet' appears to mean 'but' there.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Dear teachers,
First of all, I want to say Happy New Year to you. Hope u have a blessful year.
btw, I just want to ask how to use "yet" as a conjunction?
I once made this sentence in my essay : "These measures are thought to be less expensive yet effectively provide a direct benefit for...."
A friend of mine said that it is false and he suggested me adding "can" after the "yet": "....less expensive yet can effectively provide..."

Is it true that my original sentence was false? why does adding" can" help correct it?
Thank you

Hi jiyi

There's a useful explanation of how to use 'yet' as a conjunction on this archived BBC World Service page that I'd suggest you take a look at.

You could add 'can', as your friend says, but in my opinion it doesn't make a big difference. If I were writing the sentence you mention and I wanted to use 'yet', I'd probably say something like 'These measures are thought to be less expensive and yet directly benefit the villagers'. Or a version I like even better is 'Despite their lower cost, these measures directly benefit the villagers'.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi there,
Consider this "I will still be practicing law." Now we use still word after "be verb" but this seems a special scenario, and why "I'll still practicing law" is not correct? please explain.
Thanks
Sajad.

Hello Sajad,

'I'll still practising law' is not correct -- the word 'be' cannot be omitted. This is a future continuous form and 'still' indicates that this person's practice of the law will continue at that point in time. Many adverbs go between the auxiliary verb (in this case, 'will') and the main verb form (in this case 'be practising').

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

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