Five simple sentences to learn the difference between «Still», «Yet», «Anymore» and «Already»


A lot of students have trouble with these four adverbs.  However, they directly correspond to Spanish and Catalan.  It is possible to master them by using these  sentences as a model.  The first four are:

  • Encara no han marxat 
  • Encara són aquí 
  • Ja han marxat 
  • Ja no són aquí
  • No se han ido todavía 
  • Todavía están aquí 
  • Y a se han ido 
  • Ya no están aqui

Their English translation clearly show the difference.  For example:

  • They haven’t left yet
  • They are still here
  • They have already left
  • They aren’t here anymore

“Yet” in negative sentences is translated as encara or todavía.  The negative part is important and is what causes problems, but if you think of this use as not yet” equals “encara no” or “todavia no,” it is much easier.  

In affirmative sentences, “encara” or “todavia” are translated as “still.”  Whether the sentence is positive or negative is extremely important and the secret to learning the difference. Therefore, “still” is translated with encara or todavía.

The same is true with “already” and “anymore.”  In affirmative sentences “already” is the translation of “ja” or “ya.”  “Anymore” is their translation in negative sentences.  Or in other words: “ja no” or “ya no” is translated as “not anymore,” and “ja” or “ya” is translated as “already.”

The fifth sentence is for questions or interrogative sentences.  For example:

Are they still here?

Encara són aquí?

¿Todavía están aquí?

Have they left yet? 

Ja se n’han anat?

¿Ya se han ido?

This is a little more complicated, but the meaning of the two sentences is more or less the same.  The differences are in the tense used and in the placement of the word.  “Still” is used in the Simple Present and the Present Continuous. It is put in front of the principle verb.  In the Present Continuous it is placed after the verb “to be.”  “Yet” is used with the Present and Past Perfect tenses and goes at the end of the sentence.  However, if you remember that there is not a big difference in meaning between the two questions, you shouldn’t have a lot of problems with this.

“Yet” is used in negative and interrogative sentences and the Present and Past Perfect tenses.

They haven’t left yet 

Have they left yet?

“Still” is used with Simple Present and Present Continuous in affirmative and interrogative sentences.

Are they still here?

They are still here

“Already” is used in affirmative sentences and with Present and Past Perfect tenses.

They have already left

“Anymore” is used in negative sentences and in the Simple Present and Present Continuous tenses

They aren’t here anymore

If you think of this construction in terms of this model, it should make it a lot easier for you to learn the differences between these adverbs.

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