'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

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Language level

B1 English level (intermediate)

Hello CHEKYTAN,

You can use still with affirmative verb forms:

He still lives there.

I'm still working at the factory.

 

You can use yet with the be +to verb future forn:

He is yet to finish.

With other verb forms yet sounds very archaic and is not normally used in modern English.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

 

 

Could you please tell me the differences or uses between these two examples? 1. A: Where is Rosy? B: She's already gone to bed. 2. A: Where is Rosy? B: She's just gone out with her friends.

Hello Kunthea

It could be different depending on the situation, but in many cases 1 would express some surprise at the fact that Rosy is in bed now -- for example, if it were very early for her to be in bed.

2 expresses the idea that she left very recently.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

I have just learned english from this website but I can't speak well yet but I still practice to improve my speaking And I have already learned complete grammar course but I need more practice to be better speak.
Can 'just' be used between the subject and main verb as in the comment below? Regards

Hello Emily Mellor

'just' has quite a few different uses -- if you follow the link, you'll see a good number of them.

Where 'just' should go in a sentence depends on the way it's used, that is, the meaning that it has. I'm not sure exactly what you mean by 'I just live for music', but if you use it for emphasis, then you could say it that way. If I wanted to express the idea that music is the most important thing in my life, I probably would just say 'I live for music', though. It depends a lot on the context.

Hope this helps.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi, I was wondering if you could tell me when 'yet' can be placed before the main verb, as in, "He hasn't yet finished his degree." Is it purely for emphasis or is there some other grammatical justification for this particular placement? Many thanks, Robert

Hello envint251,

I think this is purely a rhetorical device. It adds emphasis, as you say, and sounds very formal. It's much more common to put yet at the end of the clause.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

"I had asked Amit earlier but he hasn't confirmed that yet" or " I have asked Amit earlier but he hasn't confirmed that yet" which sentence is correct? Need help to understand this nicety. Thanks in advance.

Hello Pradeep,

Neither is impossible grammatically, but perfect forms, whether present or past, need to refer to a time context and so which sentence is correct will depend on the context. Without any context we cannot say which sentence is appropriate.

If you can explain the context and what you want to say, we can suggest which version is better. Otherwise, all we can say is that both are grammatically possible.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Peter, I'll try to give a context. Instance 1(t1) : I asked Amit that whether he has my book and he was supposed to confirmed that but he didn't. Instance 2(t2) : I am telling Ram that Amit hasn't confirmed yet about the book! I am not sure whether I was able to present you complete picture. Apologies if I could not! Regards

Hi Pradeep,

You don't need to use the past perfect here. I think the most likely options are these:

1. I asked Amit earlier but he didn't confirm it.

2. I have asked Amit but he hasn't confirmed it yet.

In the first sentence, the speaker thinks that Amit will not confirm it; he is no longer waiting for Amit's answer.

In the second sentence, the speaker thinks Amit will confirm it at some point and is waiting for him to do so.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Peter, Thank you so much for detailed explanation! If my understanding is correct the first sentence is in simple past tense and second sentence is in present perfect tense. Please correct me if I am wrong. Regards, Pradeep
Hello Sir Can one use 'just' in other tenses besides present perfect for e.g. I am just reading it. Please let me know Thank you. Regards Lal

Hello Lal,

Yes, you can use just with various tenses. Your example is correct.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello TimF,

The LearnEnglish Team is the group of people at the British Council who work on the site and keeep it running. It's a mixture of technical staff, content creators and teachers. We're a small team and are based in various countries.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Yes, Lal, but if you say 'I am just reading it' it means something different. It would usually mean 'only'. '. I am just reading it (e.g. I am not writing in it). You just have to fill the form in = You only have to fill the form in. With the temporal sense, you can also use 'just' with the pluperfect, such as 'He had only just arrived home when the telephone rang.' This is one important area where British English diverges from American English. British people would traditionally say 'I have just won first prize', 'He has just got home' (= a short time ago) whereas Americans would always say 'I just won first prize', 'He just got home'. To my ears, as someone from England, I find the British English versions more elegant and 'correct'.

Hello Ballou1982,

We often use yet with negative present perfect forms, but we can use it with some other forms too, particularly present tenses and modal verbs.

Your example is correct. It tells us that the bird does not have the ability to fly at the moment, but we expect that it will at some point in the future.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

'Yet' is often used with the present perfect, but it can be used with other tenses / structures. There are usually exceptions to 'rules' in English grammar. 'Yet' means 'before now ... but it (probably) will happen', so, 'the bird can't fly yet (before now, but it will learn to fly). Hope that helps
I have read in this session. I have already studied past perfect tense and use of a still, yet already. I have always faced to a problem of making sentences. Please support me how i will improve my written language.

Hello surya,

Improving grammar and improving writing are different things. To improve your grammar, you can use exercises like the ones in our grammar section, for example.

How you can improve your writing depends upon what kind of writing you want to do, for what purpose you are writing and who the recipient is. Different kinds of writing require different language and different ways of organising the text, so the first thing to do is to take a look at as many different texts as you can. In general, to improve your writing it's important to read and write as much as possible, so keep an eye out for good examples of letters, articles and so on. Using the internet to read magazines, newspapers and other text-types from online media is a good idea.

Remember also that written texts are usually well organised - unlike a lot of speech, which can often be haphazard and disorganised.  Therefore it's important to write in an organised way: start by collecting your thoughts, then plan how you are going to organise them, then write a first draft. After that, check (or get someone else to check) your draft before writing your final version. Research shows that good writers constantly review their work and amend it, so this is a good model.

 

Most of all, for improving both grammar and writing, I recommend reading. Read widely, read often and read for pleasure. When we read, we are exposing ourselves to good models of both language and use. You will pick up good forms and good style without even realising it and both your writing and your grammar will improve.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

I haven't called them yet. But it is logic to send them messages to let them tuned. I have still need that book to study. I've already got my delivery.
This issue is very important because we use it frequently in daily life, now it’s already clear to me how to use yet, already, still and just. Thanks
I doubt if he wants to travel he only just heard about the coronavirus. Nikolaos
I haven’t finished job yet. I am still wanting to the Doctor. I have not received my bill yet. I have already told him to speak to the Teacher about the delay in class. I have just arrived at home.

Hello piyush_bpin,

The correct form is want. We generally do not verbs expressing opinion and feeling such as want, like, love, hate, need etc. with the continuous aspect. 

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team