Spanish “Ya” and “Todavía” – Meaning and Use of these Words

Spanish Ya and Todavia

Spanish Adverbs “Ya” and “Todavía” are usually taught together in Spanish courses. They have different meanings, but both of them have to do with time, and they are placed in basically the same spots within the sentence.

In this lesson we will learn everything about Spanish “Ya” and “Todavía”: their meaning and placement, providing example sentences.

1. Meaning of Spanish “ya” and “todavía”

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 = not yet (still not)

2. Placement of “ya” and “todavía”

Although the placement of these words is somewhat flexible, the safest place to place “ya” and “todavía” in the sentence is before the verb.

But be careful! If that verb is preceded by a Direct Object, Indirect Object or Reflexive Pronoun (such as “me”, “te”, “nos”, “se”… etc), we need to place “ya” and “todavía” before those pronouns.

3. Examples: Sentences with “ya” and “todavía”

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

“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.

4. Practice: Quiz about “ya” and “todavía”

Take this short Quiz to test your knowledge about these Spanish adverbs: