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'just', 'yet', 'still' and 'already'

Do you know how to use just, yet, still and already with the present perfect?

Look at these examples to see how just, yet, still and already are used.

I've just seen Sai. He's really enjoying his new job.
We haven't decided what to do yet.
I still haven't called Yumi to see how she is.
I've already had lunch but I'll join you for coffee.

Try this exercise to test your grammar.

Grammar test 1

'just', 'yet', 'still' and 'already': Grammar test 1

Read the explanation to learn more.

Grammar explanation

We often use just, yet, still and already with the present perfect because they are related to the present moment. This page focuses on the meaning and use of these words when they are used with the present perfect.

just

Just used with the present perfect means 'a short time before'.

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?!

Just comes between the auxiliary verb (have/has) and the past participle.

yet

Yet used with the present perfect means 'at any time up to now'. We use it to emphasise that we expect something to happen soon. Yet (in this context) is only used in negative sentences and questions.

Have you finished your homework yet?
I haven't finished it yet. I'll do it after dinner.
A. Where's Sam? B: He hasn't arrived yet.

Yet comes at the end of the sentence or question.

still

Still used with the present perfect means that something hasn't happened. We use it to emphasise that we expected the thing to happen earlier. Still (in this context) is only used in negative sentences.

I've been waiting for an hour and the bus still hasn't come.
They promised me that report yesterday but they still haven't finished it.
She still hasn't replied to my email. Maybe she's on holiday.

Still comes between the subject (the bus, they, etc.) and auxiliary verb (haven't/hasn't).

already

Already used with the present perfect means 'before now'. We use it to emphasise that something happened before something else or earlier than expected.

I've already spent my salary and it's two weeks before payday.
He wanted to see
Sudden Risk but I've already seen it.
The train's left already!

Already can come between the auxiliary and the main verb or at the end of the clause.

Do this exercise to test your grammar again.

Grammar test 2

'just', 'yet', 'still' and 'already': Grammar test 2

Language level

Intermediate: B1

Comments

I captured well but It's fine to use already with the present perfect like

I have already sent the message.
I have captured the course.
I have listen the radio.
I have eaten delicious meal.

Thanks for the good practice, I get it better

Hello. I'm confused about the tenses to use with "just now". Can I use present perfect with it?
Ex: I have just now arrived.
Thank you.

Hello Ahmed Imam,

People usually say 'I've just arrived' or 'I'm just now arriving', but I don't think there's anything wrong with 'I've just now arrived'.

All the best,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Is there any difference in using both yet and still in negative setence? For example,
The ambulance hasn't arrived at spot of accident yet.
The ambulance still hasn't arrived at spot of accident.

Hello Min Htet Kaung,

The main difference is the position of the adverb: yet usually comes at the end of the clause while still comes before the verb phrase. In your examples the word order is correct.

In terms of meaning, the difference is minimal and both are often possible. I would say that yet is more neutral in terms of the speaker's attitude, while still can in some contexts suggest impatience on the part of the speaker. In other words, still sometimes indicates that the action is taking longer than it should, or is later than expected.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks for your explanation, Sir.

Hi,

> We haven't needed extra staff as yet, but we may in the future
> No ambulances had as yet managed to get across the river.
> We have not as yet received a response.

I am confused about the meaning and use of "as yet" in the above sentences. How is it different from '...extra staff yet', '...had yet to manage to...' and 'have not yet received'?

Thanks in advance.

Hi hyunjoo76,

Interesting question. Yet and as yet (and also as of yet) are similar. But:

  • As yet suggests a little bit more strongly that the situation will change (e.g. that we will need extra staff, sooner or later).
  • As yet is more formal in style than yet, which is neutral in style. 
  • As yet can be separated from the verb phrase (unlike yet at least in its meaning of something not happening up to the present moment). For example, we could rephrase the sentence as: As yet, we haven't needed extra staff ... But this is not possible with yet.

Best wishes,

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi,

Any exceptions where already can be used with present tense?

“She already knows”. Or must it be “She has already known”?

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