Ya or todavía?

These are the main uses of ya y todavía:


  • In affirmative statements, it expresses immediacy, referring to an action occurring right now.

Ya estoy lista para salir (estoy lista ahora)

I am ready to leave (I'm ready now)

Hazlo ya (hazlo ahora, inmediatamente)

Do it now (immediately) – or more informally, “Just do it already” 

  • In simple present negations, it indicates an action that occurred previously, but not now.

Ya no fumo (antes fumaba, ahora no)

I don't smoke anymore, I no longer smoke (I did before, not now)

Ya no vivo en Barcelona (antes vivía en Barcelona, ahora no)

I don't live in Barcelona anymore, I no longer live in Barcelona (I did before, not now)

  • With the simple past and present perfect, it indicates an action that (has) happened before.

Ya vimos esta película (vimos la película antes)

We have already seen this movie (we've seen it before)

Ya hemos hablado de esto (hemos hablado de esto antes)

We have already talked about this (we've talked about this before)


  • Expresses the continuity of an action beginning in the past.

Todavía trabajo en la escuela (sigo trabajando en la escuela)

I still work at the school (I continue to work at the school)

  • In sentences with no, it indicates an action not performed in the past, but which we anticipate will happen.

Todavía no he reservado la habitación (no he reservado, pero pienso hacerlo)

I still have not reserved the room, I have yet to reserve the room (I haven't reserved it, but plan to do so)

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