HomeQ&AWhere to put the words "yet" or "already" in a Spanish sentence?

Where to put the words "yet" or "already" in a Spanish sentence?


I know "yet" is "todavía" and "already" is "ya" but I was wondering where you put these words in a sentence so they are grammatically correct. For example: "Is dinner ready yet?" or "Have you visited your sister yet?" and "I already ate my salad" or "Have you already seen the movie?" Please help me translate those sentences, putting "yet" and "already" in the right places. Thanks!

updated JUN 29, 2010
edited by Sam-Skold
posted by Sam-Skold
gracias! - Sam-Skold, JUN 29, 2010

4 Answers


Hi Sam. The "ya" or "todavía" generally can go at the beginning or end of a sentence. You can find lots of examples of the use of "ya" and "todavía" if you look through a couple of dictionaries:

Ya me lo habías contado = You had already told me.

¿Llamaron ya? = Have they called yet?

Remember also that "ya" can mean "no longer." For example:

Ya no me duele = It doesn't hurt any more, it no longer hurts.

Ya no es así = It's no longer like that

updated JUN 29, 2010
edited by --Mariana--
posted by --Mariana--

Normally at the start of the sentence.

La cena esta preparado todavia? Todavia la cena esta preparado?

(The second one here feels more formal to me)

Ya has visitado tu hermana? Ya comi mi ensalada.

Sorry for no accents.

updated JUN 29, 2010
posted by morphine
  • "Is dinner ready yet?" = ¿Todavía no está la cena? or ¿Ya está la cena?-
  • "Have you visited your sister yet?" = ¿Todavía no visitaste a tu hermana? or ¿Ya visitaste a tu hermana?
  • "I already ate my salad" = Ya comí la ensalada.
  • "Have you already seen the movie? = ¿Ya viste la película? or ¿Todavía no viste la película?

Note that the questions you provided in English allow for translations in Spanish using either 'todavía' or 'ya', depending on whether you opt for a negative or a positive question.

Also, note that todavia's position may vary:

¿Todavía no viste la película? = ¿No viste todavía la película?

updated JUN 29, 2010
edited by Lucho
posted by Lucho

I believe it is always at the beginning, though there may be some exceptions.

updated JUN 29, 2010
posted by MeEncantanCarasSonrisas
by "the beginning", I mean the beginning of the sentence. - MeEncantanCarasSonrisas, JUN 29, 2010
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