STILL | ALREADY | JUST | YET - English grammar


Hi guys! I'm Arnel, and today we're  going to look at four common words  

that english students can often confuse.

If we want to understand how to use these  words, we need to look at four things.  

1. the definition 2. when we use these words - in  positive statements, negatives, questions  

3. the position in a sentence and 4. the difference  between American English and British English

At the end of this lesson, I'm going to  use all four of these in one situation  

so you can really see the difference.

And remember, these words can have  many different definitions and uses,  

but today we're specifically focusing on them  in terms of TIME. So let's begin with - still.

Still - we use still to emphasize that an  action is continuing, it's ongoing. For example:  

Now it's raining. You can see this  on my timeline - now it's raining.

It's still raining. You can really see I'm  emphasizing that something is continuing  

and we often use STILL because this  action, this continuation, is surprising.  

My brother still lives with my parents.

Of course this sentence is perfectly correct  if you remove 'still' - My brother lives with my  

parents. But still gives you that emphasisMy brother still lives with my parents.  

He's 38. I work from home because of Covid, but  I can still go into the office if I need to.

I am still sick. I've been sick  for two weeks. I am still sick.

Ookay you can see all these  examples are in the present.  

But you can also use still  in the past and in the future.

Past: I woke up at 8 am and it was  still dark out. It continued to be dark.

My parents divorced when I was sevenbut they still had a good relationship.  

Their good relationship continued.

Future: When you wake up, it will still  be dark out. It will continue to be dark.  

In two minutes, you will  still be watching this video.

Hopefully. Okay we need to look at the position  of still in detail. Why is a position so important?

Still is an adverb just like already yet  and just. You know in English adverbs can  

go in lots of different places. The good news is  learning about the position of still will make  

learning about the position of these other  words so much easier. So let's take a look.

Still. Still can go in the middle position, often  just called mid position. The middle position can  

be1. before the main verb 2. after the auxiliary  verb and before the main verb - like a sandwich.

3. after b

Okay let's look at this with examples from earlierMy brother lives with my parents. I have my main  

verb, my only verb 'lives' and before that I add  still - My brother still lives with my parents.  

I can go into the office if I need to. I have my main verb 'go'  

and my auxiliary verb 'can'. Still in the middlelike a sandwich. I can still go into the office  

if i need to. I'm sick. I have my 'be' form and still  goes after it. I'm still sick. Remember the 'be' forms?  

These are the be forms you need to look out for. These rules are the same for questions. Does your  

girlfriend still go to salsa classes? auxiliary/ main verb. Are you still here? After 'be'. So we have  

the three positions but things change a little bit  in the negative. I don't know how to use chopsticks.  

Peter hasn't chosen what he wants from the menu. We  can't visit our relatives. We know these sentences  

are negative because we have 'not' and of course I have contracted them because that's natural. Main  

verb/ auxiliary. Aha! Sandwich time! No sorry, in  the negative put still before the auxiliaries.  

I still don't know how to use chopsticks. Peter  still hasn't chosen what he wants from the menu.  

We still can't visit our relatives. Lots  of information here but we are going to  

look at these positions again in the lesson, and  learning them now will make later on much easier.

Already: you are surprised because something  happened before you expected it to happen /  

earlier than expected or before something else.

What? Your son is already five years old?  

Oh my goodness, time flies. I felt like I saw him  yesterday and he was this little little baby.  

But no, your son is already five years old. This is  sooner than I expected. I''m a little bit surprised.

It's only January and the snow is already meltingNormally where I live the snow doesn't melt until  

March / April, but it's January - the snow is  already melting. Sooner than I expected.

Would you like a tea or coffee? No thank  you, I already had one. Before now. Okay

I have two examples in the present, one in the pastYes you can also use already in the future. Why not?  

When you arrive in San Francisco, Chloe and Alice  will already be there. You can meet them in the  

hotel. They'll be there before you. And look at  those positions. We've already talked about this.  

Before the main verb.

Are you hungry? Because here's a sandwich - between  the auxiliary and the main verb. And after  

'be'. With already the end position  is also perfectly correct.  

When we put already at the end of our sentence or  at the end of the clause, it's a little bit more  

informal. It's more casual and more emphatic  actually. What? Your son is five years old already?

It's only January and the snow is melting  already. Would you like a tea or coffee? No thank  

you. I had one already. And when you arrive in San  Francisco, Alice and Chloe will be there already.  

And with already, the position  and negatives and questions  

doesn't change which is great. Let's take  a moment to look at this example here.

Would you like a tea or coffeeNo thank you, I already had one.  

Past simple. You can also say I've, I have, I've  already had one. Present perfect. Today's lesson is  

not about the past simple or the present perfectbut I need to tell you one difference between  

American English and British English. Generally  Americans tend to use the past simple with already  

just and yet. Speakers of British English tend  to use the present perfect. So this isn't a   

strict grammatical rule- it's a preference. So  you'll hear both and it's just good to know.

Just: we use just for something that happened  right before now or right before something else . 

Rachel has just called and she left  you a message. Rachel has just called / 

Rachel just called - both are fine. HereRachel has just called / Rachel just called -   

this is probably one minute  ago. It's very recent, isn't it?

Did you get a chance to go to the  wildlife photography exhibition?  

I was just there. I went during my lunch breakIt was amazing. I was just there. This is probably  

20 minutes ago. Have you seen Vic anywhere? He  should be in his office, I was just talking to him.  

I was just talking to him five minutes ago. Okay  here we have 20 minutes ago, five minutes ago  

one minute ago, this is very recent but recent is  relative right? I could say: We just bought a house.  

And this could be two months ago, but that's  pretty recent in terms of buying a house.

You just saw a ghost and once  again we have that mid position.  

1. before the main verb 2. between the auxiliary  and the main verb 3.after 'be'. So let's compare  

still already and just before we move on to  yet. Hey do you feel like meeting up later? Cafe?

Sorry not today, I'm still working on my essay. I  thought you already finished it. No, to be honest , 

I just started. Still: I'm continuing to work on  my essay. Already: something is finished before now.  

Just: very recently. I started 10 minutes ago  

And yes we can put already at the  end - I thought you finished it already.

Yet: we are waiting for something to happen, we are  expecting something. We use yet in negatives and  

questions. Why? b=Because an action hasn't happened. We  are either waiting for the action or we are asking  

about the action. I'm hungry. I haven't eaten  breakfast yet. But I'm going to eat breakfast

I will eat breakfast soon. You can't go to the  supermarket now. It's not open yet. It's only 7 a.m.  

But it will open it will open soonWe're expecting it to open of course.  

Has the meeting started yet? I'm expecting  a meeting so I'm asking if it started  

or not. I don't know why Zoe was complaining  about the new intern. She hadn't even met him yet.  

The good thing about yet is the position.  

It's at the end of your clause, at the end of  your sentence. That makes things pretty simple.  

Of course you can remove yet from all of these  and they're perfectly correct but once again  

yet gives you that little emphasis that you're  expecting something. Let's compare: I haven't seen  

that movie. I haven't seen that movie yet. The  first example is just general information - I  

haven't seen that movie. Have you seen that movieIs it any good? In the second example the speaker  

is going to watch the movie. They're expecting  to watch the movie but they just haven't done it ... 

yet. Have you signed Phil's birthday card? Nohaven't signed it. No I haven't signed it yet.  

The second example is a lot more natural because  in the second example the speaker is gonna sign  

it. They will sign it when when they have some free  time. The first example is a little bit unnatural  

and it's missing something. Have you signed Phil's birthday card? No I haven't signed it.  

Any other questions? Okay so we know now we  use yet in negatives and questions at that  

end position. But you probably or you might have  seen yet used in a positive sentence. For example

We can use this structure: have yet to/ has yet to  + infinitive. This also means you're expecting  

something. You're waiting for something. For  example: The stolen jewels have yet to be recovered.

The judges have yet to announce a winner. You  can see here we have yet. It's not at the end

and there's no negative there's no question. It's  a positive statement which is perfectly correct.  

So you can use yet in this type of structure and  there are other other variations but this isn't  

very common and it's quite formal. soreally do suggest keep yet for those negatives  

and questions at the end of your sentence

Amazing! Let's look at all four of these words  

in one in one situation so you can really compare  the difference and see how how necessary they are.

My boss and his wife are coming over to my house  for dinner. They're not here yet, but they'll be  

here in about 30 minutes. And actually I'm  really nervous so the... I already made  

the potatoes and the salad. The fish is  still in the oven, the fish is still baking.

and I just remembered, I didn't buy any drinksI don't have any drinks. So here we can see yet  

in the negative.' I'm expecting my boss and his  wife to to be at my house soon. I'm expecting this.  

Already: something is done, it's finished before  now. I already made the potatoes, I already made  

the salad. Still: ongoing. The fish is still in the  oven. It's still baking. Just: I just remembered -  

one moment ago. That's them. Subscribe to my channel.