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'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 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 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 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 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


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 Lal,

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



The LearnEnglish Team

Peter M - can you tell me what the learn English team is?

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.



The LearnEnglish Team

I'm cleared now in this concept.

The usage here is not correct. You should say: 'I understand this now', or 'That's clear to me now'

"The bird can't fly yet" as we know the word 'yet' is used in the present perfect so why is it used in the sentence above? I am confused. Could you please explain to me. I would be grateful

'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

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.



The LearnEnglish Team

It's really helpful to use correctly still, yet, just and already.