Spanish “Ya” and “Todavía” – Meaning, Use and Practice

Spanish Adverbs “ya” and “todavía” are usually taught together in Spanish courses. Although they have different meanings, both of them have to do with time, and they are placed in the same spots within the sentence.

In this lesson we will go through these points:

1. Meaning of “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 = still not, not yet

2. Placement of “ya” and “todavía”

Although the placement of these words is pretty 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 Reflexive, Direct or Indirect Object Pronouns (such as “me”, “te”, “nos”, “se”… etc), we need to place “ya” and “todavía” before those pronouns.

3. Example Sentences

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, 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: A Quiz

Take this short Quiz to test your knowledge!: