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

Spanish Ya and Todavia

Welcome to our grammar lesson about Spanish words ya and todavía.

Ya and todavía are two adverbs, usually taught together in Spanish courses. They have different meanings, but both of them have to do with time, and they are generally placed in the same spots within the sentence.

In this lesson we will learn everything about how to use ya and todavía, providing example sentences. At the end you’ll find a Quiz for practice.

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.

Example sentences with “ya” and “todavía”

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

“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 te lo han contado.
They still haven’t told it to you.

3. Practice “ya” and “todavía”

Quiz

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