«Ya» and «Todavía»

Spanish Adverbs «ya» and «todavía» are usually taught together in Spanish courses.

Both «ya» and «todavía» have different meanings when followed and when not followed by the negative particle «no».

In the case of «ya»:

  • ya = already
  • ya no = no longer, not anymore


In the case of «todavía»:

  • todavía = still
  • todavía no = still not, not yet





Placement

The safest place to put this words in the sentence is before the verb. Sometimes they can be placed somewhere else (for example, at the end of the sentence), but before the verb is a safe bet.

But be careful: if that verb is preceded by Reflexive, Direct or Indirect Object Pronouns (such as «me», «te», «nos», «se»… etc), we need to place «ya» and «todavía» right before those pronouns.

We will now read some example sentences. In these examples, the verb is highlighted in red. Also, if there are Reflexive, Direct or Indirect Object Pronouns before the verb, they are highlighted in blue:


Examples Sentences


«Ya»:

¿Ya has comprado las entradas? = Did you already buy the tickets?

Sí, ya las he comprado = Yes, I already bought them.


«Ya no»:

María ya no fuma = María doesn’t smoke anymore.

Ya no los tenemos = We no longer have them.


«Todavía»:

Todavía vivo con mis padres = I still live with my parents.

Pablo todavía se acuerda de sus amigos = Pablo still remembers his friends.


«Todavía no»:

¿Todavía no habéis llegado? = Have you guys not arrived yet?

Todavía no me gustan sus películas = I still don’t like his movies


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