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