'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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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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Hello Team, The material is useful and well explained. I have a question though . I can't get my head around the use of the modal verb 'won't' in the last example 'She won't have sent the email yet' . What's the meaning? Would it be correct if we used 'wouldn't' instead? Thank you

Hi Asni,

Good question! This structure is the future perfect, which shows something that will be completed (or in this case, not completed) before a specific time in the future. It's always made with will or won't. Have a look at this page for more explanation and examples.

Yes, it's possible to use wouldn't too. The meaning is slightly different. Would frames this as an unreal or imagined situation, i.e., one that hasn't necessarily happened in real life (or in this case, not happened, regarding sending the email). In comparison, using won't frames it as a more factual description of what actually happened (or didn't happen).

Does that make sense?

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

Yes Jonathan, perfect sense! Thank you very much for the clear explanation. I'll have to study more deeply the different tenses though. They are many and sometimes a bit confusing, their appropriate use is not always so obvious.
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

this house is large but(it is) old fashioned. this house is large yet( it is) old fashioned. this house is large and old fashioned
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

Dear team : am a little confused about the difference between with the 5th and 4th question ,can i change the answer about them ?

Hello jiaojiaopeter,

In questions, we can use both already and yet to express surprise, but we use the former with positive verb forms and the latter with negative. For example:

Has she arrived already? I didn't expect that.

She isn't there yet? She's late.

Both of these sentences show surprise.

We can use yet in positive questions, but it is more neutral and does not show surprise:

Has she arrived yet?

 

In the context in the task, question 4 is a normal question. It would be grammatically fine to use already but there is no reason to add surprise to the sentence, so yet is suitable. Question 5, on the other hand, has a context which clearly shows surprise ("400 pages long!"), so already is appropriate.

Have they made a decision yet?

Have you finished that book already?

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Team, I have a question regarding the use of 'yet'. As you've pointed it out, 'yet' is usually placed at the end of a sentence, however, I have seen variations to this. We may take this for example: I have been working hard but I am yet to see the results. Do you approve of this? Thank you.
Hi guys!! I am bit confused about the possible meanings yet may indicate when used in a sentence when meaning other than the one mentioned above in the grammar explanation. For instance, the one I quite below from Poe's "The Purloined Letter": "oh, Dupin you will be the death of me yet!" Could you please shed some light on this? Thanks

Hello Siveboy,

It's not very common to use 'yet' in affirmative sentences, which is why it's not explained above. When it is used, usually in more formal or literary contexts, it shows that we think a situation is continuing and that this is contrary to our expectations. 

I'm afraid I don't remember The Purloined Letter well enough to be able to explain this sentence in context. Does it make sense in that light? If not, please let us know.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello asadbd,

It's perfectly fine to use 'yet' with the simple or continuous present to talk about something which may happen in the future but is not true at the moment of speaking. For example:

He doesn't work here yet.

It isn't raining yet.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello. Could you tell me please what is the difference between sentences "Have you fixed the car yet?" and "Have you finished that book already?"? As for me, they are identical. So why in the first sentence "yet" is used but in the second: "already"?

Hello msrom,

'Already' here carries a sense of the action being done earlier than expected. We might say this when we are surprised that it has been done so quickly or so soon.

'Yet' does not have this meaning. Depending on the context it could be neutral (just a question) or it could even suggest that we are a little impatient.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Team , Sorry for my incorrect question! I think in " They have not found the cure for AIDS yet." the meaning is they have tried many times but it is unsuccessfully. Does " They have not yet found the cure for AIDS. " mean the same or different? Thank you a lot.

Hello Tanya Peneva,

Both sentences have the same meaning. It may be that many unsuccessful attempts have been made, or it may be that there have been no attempts - it is not clear from the sentence itself, though it may be from the context. For example, I could say:

Humanity has not yet walked on Mars

or

Humanity has not walked on Mars yet

There has been no attempt to send people to Mars so far.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi ,there! Why in " They have not yet found the cure for AIDS?" , "yet " is before" found" not after " AIDS"? THANKS!

Hi Tanya Peneva,

The position of 'yet' in this sentence is flexible. As an adverb, it can be placed before the verb and it can also come at the end of the sentence. Another word similar to this is 'already':

They have not yet found the cure for AIDS.

They have not found the cure for AIDS yet.

They have already found the cure for many diseases.

They have found the cure for many diseases already.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Are these corect sentences: Sam has already heard the news and he is really shocked. I have just finished my homework. Thanks in advance.
Hi there, "yet" is always used in negative or interrogative form, isn't it? As the following example "have yet to" is negative form? "Welcome to Japan, where science fiction may begin to trump economic fact in ways the global audience has yet to realize." Does its meaning change if it is rewritten: ".....has not yet to realize"? Many thanks!

Hello Agnes,

It sounds like you've understood 'yet' here. I'd re-write it as '... has not yet realised'. See the dictionary entry for 'yet', near the bottom, where you'll 'have yet to'.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

already, still, yet and no longer... Where is the last one?... Seems to be no longer here :)

Hello Jarek_O,

Thanks for pointing this out to us! I'm afraid I'll have to look into that more carefully to find out what happened, which will take me some time. For now, you could look at the Cambridge Dictionary entry. Although it doesn't say much, there are a couple of examples and then you're welcome to ask us any questions you may have here.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi there, It depends on what you mean "the last one" here. Owing to the "last" word is a sort of contronym. E.g there are 3 main opposite meanings for last as following link https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/last In the same line with "yet" as well! Tks!
It was late, but they hadn’t arrived yet. or it was late. but they did not arrived yet. which one correct those sentence. pls confirm.

Hello taj25,

The first sentence ('hadn't arrived') is correct as the action of (not) arriving is earlier than the statement that it is late and has an influence on it.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi. I just wanna ask if which is more accurate sentence between on this.''I ain't yet worth living for.'' and ''I ain't worth yet living for.''
Hello, could you please check the following sentence is right? - Not yet from Steve Sign. - Need Steve sign.

Hello Yu Yu,

Those sentences are not correct.

Please note that we do not provide a checking service on LearnEnglish. We're happy to answer questions about the language on our pages and sometimes more general questions, but we don't check homework or test answers from elsewhere - these are your job!

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello LearnEnglish team, Would you please explain the use of already in the question "Have you finished that book already?" Thanks, Eduardo

Hello Eduardo,

Can you please be more specific? You can find another explantion of 'already' in the dictionary. If you'd like to know something more specific, please explain it to us as specifically as you can.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello kaustavg,

The sentence is not correct. When we use 'yet' in this kind of context it is generally with the present perfect, so the correct sentence would probably be 'You have still not faced the strongest one yet'.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello kaustavg,

No, that is not correct either. To make a present perfect form you need to use the past participle ('faced') not the base form ('face').

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi! Can you tell me if my grammar is correct ----- "Yet, the eagle was still blamed."
Would u pls advise if it is wrong or correct that I saw a clause on the newspaper "Whatsapp blocked yet again in Brazil after legal dispute.