'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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Submitted by rakibulalam on Tue, 11/10/2022 - 02:44

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It was jast amazing.

Submitted by xaudxd on Mon, 29/08/2022 - 08:35

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Hello
What does this sentence mean?
"Is he home yet?"
a) He is still at home.
b) He hasn't arrived home yet.

Hi xaudxd,

Assuming that the answer to the question is "no", b) is the best answer.

Answer a) is similar in meaning to "He hasn't left home yet."

I hope that helps.

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by xaudxd on Sun, 28/08/2022 - 15:43

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This is from the Logman Dictionary for "yet".

I can't understand the difference between a and b.

a) used in negative statements and questions to talk about whether something that was expected has happened
I haven’t asked him yet (=but I will).
Has Edmund arrived yet?
‘Have you finished your homework?’ ‘Not yet.’
b) used in negative statements and questions to talk about whether a situation has started to exist
‘How are you going to get there?’ ‘I don’t know yet.’
Women didn’t yet have the vote (=at that time).
‘Is supper ready?’ ‘No, not yet.’

Hi xaudxd,

The verbs in a) are action verbs: ask, arrive, finish. The actions in these examples are understood as taking place instantly, or in a moment. They have little or no duration - they just happen and then they are over.

The verbs in b) are stative verbs: know, have (possession meaning), be. As states, we understand them as having a duration. In the examples, "yet" shows that these states had not yet begun (or as the explanation says, "started to exist"). It differs from a) because the idea of "beginning" to do something isn't really relevant to the action verbs in a), which are instantaneous. If we understand "Women didn’t yet have the vote" with meaning a), for example, it would mean that "have the vote" was something that happened instantaneously and is already over - but that's not the meaning here.

I hope that helps to differentiate them.

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Sayinsu on Sat, 16/07/2022 - 11:51

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Hello
What's the difference between I've done it versus I just have done it?

Hi Sayinsu,

"I have just done it" (notice the position of "just") means the action was recent (e.g. only moments ago).

"I've done it" may or may not be recent. The present perfect is used for recent actions, but it's also used for actions in an unfinished time period and past actions with a result in the present (see the Present Perfect page for more explanation and examples), and those actions are not necessarily recent. For example, if I am telling somebody about the sports that I have done in my life, I could say "I've done surfing, skydiving, skiing and snowboarding". The sentence gives no information about when I did those sports - it could have been recently or many years ago.

I hope that helps.

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks Mr. Jonathan.
Now I am clear about the of just. 'I have done it' vs 'I have already done it'. What is their difference, if any?

Hello Sayinsu,

We use already to signal that something no longer needs to be done:

I've already bought the eggs. [= you don't need to do it]

It's particularly common in two uses. First, when we want to tell something that they no longer need to do something, as in the example above. Second, to indicate that something was done unexpectedly early. For example:

A: Can you send an email to Bob with the new information?

B: No need - I've already done it.

A Great!

You can also use already with other verb forms than the present perfect:

She started university at the age of fourteen and by the age of twenty she already had a doctorate.

I can't believe it! There are still three weeks of the football season left and we're already champions!

He's a fast driver so he'll probably already be there.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team