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STILL, ALREADY, YET, JUST – What’s the Difference?

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Still, already, yet, just – we often used words carelessly not just while speaking but while writing too. Remember the last couple of text messages you sent to your friend. Are these ones sounding familiar? “Yeah, hold on! I’ll be there in just two minutes!”, “Oh! For God’s Sake, get to the point already!”, “God knows what has happened to her! She is still not replying to my messages.” “Hey, did you send the mail? I haven’t received the file yet!”

The point is, that we all use these words quite often. But, how many of us know the exact meanings & usage of them?

So, what’s the difference between STILL, ALREADY, YET, JUST?

(It works as an adjective, noun, & verb too. But, here we are discussing it as an adverb.)
– Something has been happening and has continued to happen
– In a progressive manner
– Nevertheless
– An event happened but in spite of that, the result was the opposite.
“God knows what has happened to her! She is still not replying to my messages.”

“The plumber said that he had fixed the pipe. But, there is still some leakage in the basement.”

“I tried so hard to convince her to let us go to the concert. But she is still not ready.”
AlreadyAdverb– Previously
– By now / this moment
– Before the present time or the time of the event that is being discussed
– Earlier than anticipated
– Works as an intensive
” She has gone through a lot already. Don’t give her a hard time.”

“She felt that she closed her eyes for a minute and it was 10 AM already!”

“The schools haven’t even opened yet, and he has already started preparing for the finals!”

“Oh! For God’s Sake, get to the point already!”
(It works as conjunction too, But, here we are discussing it as an adverb.)
– Until the present / this moment / until the time when an event that is being discussed happened.
– at this very moment / as soon as this moment
– Adds emphasis
– Nevertheless; Nonetheless
“Hey, did you send the mail? I haven’t received the file yet!”

“I have been studying longer than her, and yet she scored a better grade than me!”

“Some books are poorly written, yet you see them hitting the best-seller list!”
(It works as an adjective too, But, here we are discussing it as an adverb.)
– A very short time before the event that’s being discussed
– Precisely what we want to express / Exactly
– Immediately before the present or the event that is being discussed.
– by a slight margin
– merely
– absolutely
– Requests / Giving Permissions / Giving orders
– Agreeing with someone
“Yes! That is just what she was saying!”

“Oh! I just heard the news of your accident. How are you holding up?”

“Yeah, hold on! I’ll there in just two minutes!”

“Although it was my birthday, the day at the office went just as usual.”

“She is just an amazing singer.”

Just finish this one report quickly, go home, and get some rest.”

“I explained to him everything, but he didn’t just!”

Check out: Altogether v/s. All together: What’s the Difference?

Still, Already, Yet, Just: What are they? 

Still, Already, Yet, Just are Adverbs of time. They refer to time and location within the sentence depending on their usage. Mostly, we use these adverbs with the present perfect tense such as “I haven’t finished my homework yet.” Or “The guests have been waiting for the dinner and it still hasn’t been served.” Or “Tanya has already finished her work.”

Both the above examples are in the present perfect tense. The reason being is that these adverbs talk about the present moment. They might be used with other verb tenses too, like: “Mike had just finished his dinner.” (Past participle) Or  “My flight had just landed.” 

If you read all the examples, you will notice these adverbs refer to the time of the action. 

Four adverbs refer to time within a sentence. Still, yet, already are often used with present perfect while just can be used with other verb forms too. 

Now, let’s look at their definition:

Just – It conveys that an action has happened very recently.

Already – It indicates that an action has occurred earlier or sooner than expected.

Yet – Using yet in a sentence means that we are expecting something to happen but it has still not happened.

Still – It is used for the actions that have not occurred or ended.

Look at the below example to understand the meaning of these adverbs more accurately.

Hi Sally,

How are you? My flight has just landed. I will be taking the cab to your place.

Oh! Don’t worry. I already left my place to pick you up.

You are the best. Thanks.

Anyways, I will be reaching in an hour.

Okay! I haven’t taken my luggage yet. 

Ah! that’s okay, you still have time.

Mostly, still, yet, and already are used in a negative sentence, though still is rarely used in such scenarios.

Meaning of the Adverb ‘Still’

Try to understand the meaning of still, to use it in a sentence correctly. 

Still is used to indicate a continuous action, which means an action that hasn’t happened till now. 

Such as:

I still read the books till late at night.

Your house is still beautiful like before.

If you notice the position of still is before the verb or adjective.

Sometimes, still is used in negative sentences such as

I still haven’t found my wallet.

I took the car to the garage though it still isn’t working. 

Meaning of the Adverb ‘Already’

In English grammar, we use already to indicate that an action has happened before or sooner than expected.


Have you already eaten your dinner?

They already left for the party.

You should have already booked the tickets for the movie.

In the last sentence, already is placed in between the auxiliary verb and the principal verb and that’s how already is used in grammar.

Meaning of the Adverb ‘Yet’

When we talk about an action that is expected to occur in the future, we use ‘yet’. And yet is always placed at the end of a sentence. It is used in negative and interrogative sentences such as

Haven’t you reached yet? (interrogative)

They haven’t paid their workers yet. (negative)

Riya is still waiting for her parents, as they haven’t arrived yet.

To point out basic still, yet difference –

Still sits in between the sentence while yet sits at the end of the sentence.

Meaning of the Adverb ‘Just’

As per the definition, just is used in the grammar for actions that have occurred shortly or not long ago. It can be used with both present perfect and past perfect. Similar to the adverb already, just is located between the auxiliary verb and the main verb.


I have just boarded the bus. (Present perfect)

Have you just received a call from the principal? (Present perfect)

We had just arrived at the airport. (Past perfect)

Sally had just been to the parlor to get ready. (Past perfect)

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