Still and yet

English grammar (See all)

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Still and yet

•  STILL refers to an action or state that started in the past and continues to the present:
Still single? Are you single, like you were in the past, or do you have a partner now?
Is Horatio still in his laboratory? Does Horatio continue to remain in his laboratory?
I still don't know what you're talking about. I continue to be confused about what you're saying.

•  YET has a similar meaning to 'still' but is used in negative constructions:
Have you already eaten? - Not yet. Have you already eaten? - Up until now, no.
They haven't left yet. They are still there.
Bruno has not yet given us his instructions. Up until now, Bruno has not given us his instructions.

•  Examples of YET in affirmative constructions:
There's time yet. = There's still time. We have enough time left, remaining.
He has yet to find an investor. = He still hasn't found an investor. Up until now, he hasn't found an investor.

Note that still generally comes before the verb, while yet is usually placed at the end of the sentence.

•  In questions, YET has a similar meaning to already (by now):
Did you order the supplies yet? Have you ordered the supplies?
- Yes, I did it already. - Yes, I have done it.
- No, I still have to do it. - No, I haven't done it, but I will do it.
Has Kevin signed the contract with Mei-Tsing Lee yet? Has Kevin signed the contract with Mei-Tsing Lee?
- Yes, he's already signed it. Yes, he's signed it.
- Not yet - No, he hasn't signed it, but he will sign it in the future.

Possible confusion:
once again one more time

Bruno is always busy. Bruno is constantly busy.
Bruno is still busy. Bruno continues to be busy.

•  Still and yet can have other meanings:

Meaning 'however':
He says he doesn't like her, still (or yet) he won't stop calling her. He says he doesn't like her, but he won't stop calling her.
Still used as an adjective (not moving):
Stand still! Don't move!
In the still of the night In the quiet of the night


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