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

Do you know how to use just, yet, still and already with the present perfect? Test what you know with interactive exercises and read the explanation to help you.

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

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Average: 4.5 (2 votes)

Submitted by didier-24 on Sat, 04/06/2022 - 22:59

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i have already sent you money but why you still have not received

Submitted by nadyanightingale on Sun, 01/05/2022 - 10:11

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I still haven't seen any examples of an English test. But I've already dealt with some language tests, so I might know how to pass them successfully. I've just looked at the test structure, but I haven't decided yet what type of the test it will be.

Submitted by tastybrain on Wed, 13/04/2022 - 14:53

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I'm aware that "already" generally follows the BE verb, but can it not also sometimes correctly precede it when the sense is marked by contrast such as in the following example: "Melody will be a beautiful woman some day." "She already IS a beautiful woman." ?

Hello tastybrain,

Yes, that's correct. The normal position for 'already' is mid-position, i.e. with all main verbs except 'be', it typically comes between the subject and main verb or, when there's an auxiliary verb, after the auxiliary verb; with the main verb 'be', it typically comes after 'be'.

But it's also used at the end of sentences (or before the main verb 'be') for emphasis or to show surprise, as you describe.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by WilliamsBen1904 on Sat, 30/10/2021 - 10:16

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How can i distinguish the usage between "already" and "just"? Thank you very much!

Hello WilliamsBen1904,

When used with present perfect, 'just' refers to a short time before the action. It's impossible to tell exactly how long that 'short time' is because it depends on the speaker's perspective, but in general it's quite short.

'already' can refer much further back in time, or it can refer to a very recent time. 'already' often expresses the idea that the speaker didn't expect the action to happen so quickly, but it can be used in other ways as well.

You might find the following two pages from the Cambridge Dictionary useful, as both have more examples you can read:

1. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/already
2. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/just (see especially the section called 'Just and expressions of time' -- it can also be used to express other meanings)

Hope this helps.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Maahir on Mon, 15/03/2021 - 09:42

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Hi, could kindly let me know if there is a difference between these two sentences. They haven't released the movie yet. They still haven't released the movie. or the movie still hasn't been released Thanks.
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Submitted by Jonathan R on Fri, 19/03/2021 - 03:18

In reply to by Maahir

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Hi Maahir,

They mean the same thing, but the sentences with still emphasise a bit more strongly that the movie should have been released by now. :)

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Jerry Plamondon on Sun, 04/10/2020 - 09:18

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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?