You are here

'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

You mention in the section concerning YET, " Yet (in this context) is only used in negative sentences and questions."

YET can be used with an affirmative structure in the following way, can't it?
Ralph has bought a bicycle but has yet to use it.

"Yet", in this sense doesn't require a negative form nor a simple
present for that matter. Am I using the structure properly?

Hello Jerry Plamondon,

Yes, as you observe, on this page we cover the most common uses of these words, but this does not mean there are not others.

Your sentence is correct -- well done!

All the best,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello again.
I was reading again the information about "just" and I'd like to know if using it in questions has a negative connotation always, or not necessarily.
It seems in the example that it does have a certain tone and every example I can think of, does too.
Thanks in advance. :)

Hello Alicelle,

I'm not sure I understand your question correctly. Could you post an example sentence or two to show what you mean. We'll be happy to comment, but I think it will be clearer that way and we'll be sure we are giving you correct information.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Peter.
Thank you very much for your reply.
The first example I'd like to refer to is the one that appears on this webpage: "Have you just taken my pen?!" This question is using an exclamation mark, so I understand that the person is complaining because the other person took her pen... Is this correct?
Some other examples I can't think of are: "Have you just done your homework?", "Have you just drunk my coffee?", "Have you just bought a new car?" In all of them, I imagine a person being angry or surprised about those situations. Is it like that? It seems to me that using "just" gives the questions that tone of anger and/or surprise...
Thanks in advance for your help!

Hello again Alicelle,

That makes things clearer - thank you.

I think the use of just in negative sentences does show surprise but not necessarily anger. You could show a positive sense of surprise, for example:

Something smells nice. Oh, have you just made biscuits? Wow!

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks, Peter!

Hello.
I still have a doubt. Can we use "still" in questions? I understand that it is only for negative sentences because of the meaning it has when used with the present perfect, but I found this example in a textbook: "You still haven't seen that movie?" So, I wonder if it is possible to do the inversion in the question and ask something like this: "Haven't you still seen that movie?"
Thanks for your help! :D

Hi Alicelle,

No, it would need to change to yetHaven't you seen that movie yet? 

Your previous example is very interesting. It is a question, but the sentence structure is that of a negative sentence (not a question, as there is no inversion). That's why still works well here, but not in the inverted question. 

Does that make sense?

Best wishes,

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Jonathan.
Yes, it makes total sense. Thank you very much!

Pages