Four Adverbs: Just, Already, Still, Yet

2018-10-19

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1
  • Sometimes, the most common words in the English language can cause the most trouble.
  • 2
  • Today, we will talk about four adverbs that are often unclear to English learners.
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  • All four words relate to time in some way.
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  • They are "just," "already," "still" and "yet."
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  • There are a few reasons for the lack of clarity.
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  • Some English learners mistake "just" and "already" as having the same meaning.
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  • The same is true for the adverbs "still" and "yet."
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  • Another reason for the lack of clarity may be that, in some languages, a single adverb can have many meanings.
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  • In Portuguese, for example, the word "já" means "already" and "yet" and sometimes "just."
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  • Whatever the reason, we are here today to lessen confusion around these adverbs and help you use them correctly.
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  • First, close your eyes and imagine a telephone call between two friends going to the movies.
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  • You will hear the four adverbs used.
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  • Think about their meanings and how each is different:
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  • Hi, Sue!
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  • How's it going? Hey, quick question: Should we buy tickets online or at the theater?
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  • Don't worry. I already got the tickets! I bought them this morning.
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  • You're the best. Thanks!
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  • Anytime. Anyway, I just left the house. I'll be at the theater in 20 minutes.
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  • OK. But I'm still getting ready. And I have not eaten yet. But I'll get a taxi and be there around 6:15.
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  • That works! When I find seats, I'll text you the row number.
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  • Perfect! See you soon.
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  • What did you learn about the four adverbs and their differences?
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  • Let's start with the word "just."
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  • We use "just" to say that an action has happened very recently or a short time ago. You heard one speaker say this:
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  • Anyway, I just left the house.
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  • The speaker means "I left the house a very short time ago."
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  • How long a very short time is will depend on the situation.
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  • For example, imagine that you had been going to a university for four years and graduated two weeks ago.
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  • You talk to a family member and they ask what is new. You say:
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  • I just graduated from college! I'm so happy to finally be done.
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