Lesson Transcript

Hi, everybody. My name is Alisha. Today, I'm going to talk about two words, "yet" and "already," and the difference between the two. I'm also going to explain some nuances of a few question patterns you might hear these words used in. So, let's get started.
First, let's look at the word, "yet." We use the word, "yet" for actions that we expect to occur, something we think is probably going to happen. We have an expectation for this action. This can mean like daily activities like taking a shower, brushing your teeth. It can mean something at work like sending a file or attending a meeting. So, depending on your situation, this is just a specific action that is expected to occur. We use "yet" for actions that have not happened when we're making statements. For example, "I haven't done my homework yet." Here, we see "yet" at the end of this sentence. We also use "yet" in questions about the action. So, meaning, "Is it finished?" "Is it not finished?" "Has it been completed?" "Has it not been completed?" For example, "Have you done your homework yet?" You'll notice that we're using the present perfect, "I haven't done my homework," "Have you done your homework yet?" We use "yet" because of this expectation meaning up until now, up until this point in time has the action been completed. This is the reason we use "haven't" and "have" in the in the case of these example sentences. So, remember, "yet" is for an action that has not happened but we expect will happen.
It falls at the end of a sentence, you'll notice here. "Yet" comes at the end of both of these sentences. If you see it in a different location, for example, before the verb, it's increasingly rare in modern American English but you might see it in older texts, specifically. It's going to sound formal and quite out of date if you use this now. So, please use "yet" at the end of your sentence.
Okay, let's move on to "already." We use "already," again, like with "yet" for an action which we expect to occur, some action that is expected to occur. This word, however, is used for an action that has happened. So, when we're making statements, this is for an action that has happened. For example, "I've already done my homework." Here's the positive sentence. I use the negative, "I haven't done my homework yet," here. Here, I've used, "I've already done my homework." For questions about the action, whether the action has been completed or not, we can also use "already." For example, "Have you already done your homework?" Here, I used "yet," "Have you done your homework yet?" So, you'll see yet "falls" at the end of the sentence but "already" comes before the verb. So, "I've already done my homework." "Have you already done your homework?" "Already" comes before the verb.
You can use "already" at the end of a sentence. Although, "Have you already done your homework?" can become, "Have you done your homework already?" Both are fine. So, it's up to you to choose.
Now, knowing this basic information about when to use "yet" and "already." Let's look at a few sentences that use these words and some which do not and take a look at the difference in nuance. These are actually all questions, these are all questions, fairly common questions but there are some subtle differences, some small differences in nuance that I think it's important to be aware of. Let's look at the first one.
Here, "Have you eaten lunch yet?" This is a confirmation question, "Is the action finished or not?" "Have you eaten lunch yet?" Here, we see "yet" at the end of the sentence. The nuance here, like I said, it's a confirmation question. "Yes or no?" "Is the action finished or not finished?" In this case, the speaker thinks the listener has not completed the action or the speaker imagines the listener there's a chance the listener has not, in this case, eaten lunch yet. They imagine this. It's a guess though. That's why it's in the question form. "Have you eaten lunch yet?"
Let's look at a similar sentence though. "Have you already eaten lunch?" or "Have you eaten lunch already?" Here, again, it's a confirmation question but the speaker is using "already." So, the speaker guesses maybe the listener has completed the action, the action is maybe finished. So, there's a very small difference between these two. In this case, maybe the speaker wants to invite the listener for lunch or the speaker wants to ask something of the listener. Here, however, the speaker is guessing that lunch is finished for the listener. So, maybe it's a different situation. So, there's a small difference in nuance between these two.
Let's look at a slightly different pair. "You've already eaten lunch?!" versus "You haven't eaten lunch yet?!" I've finished these sentences with the very casual punctuation mark, a question mark and an exclamation point. this is just to emphasize surprise so you shouldn't use to punctuation marks in your formal writing but for this exercise I included it. So, here, "You've already eaten lunch?!" and "You haven't eaten lunch yet?!" These two are used to express surprise. So, here, this is not a confirmation question. It begins with "You've," "You've already." These are questions which express surprise or a disbelief. So, in this case, surprise because the action happened sooner than expected. So, someone eats lunch at maybe 10:30, 10:30 in the morning, for example. The speaker says, "You've already eaten lunch?!" the action happened sooner than expected by the speaker, in this case.
Let's look here, though, the opposite, "You haven't eaten lunch yet?!" Here, there's the same element of surprise that's being communicated but there's an expectation the action is going to happen. The speaker is surprised actually that the listener has not completed the action yet. The surprise is because the action is not finished, has not been completed. But, there's an expectation the action is going to happen in the future. So, for example, it's four o'clock in the afternoon and the speaker says, "You haven't eaten lunch yet?!" So, you imagine as the speaker, the listener is going to eat lunch but you're surprised the listener has not eaten. Okay.
Let's look at a couple of different grammar points. Here, "You haven't eaten lunch?" Here, this is almost identical to the previous sentence. The only difference is the word, "yet" is missing. There's no "yet" here. Just, "You haven't eaten lunch?" This is just a simple expression of surprise. So, there's still a chance we see this nuance is communicated through the present perfect tense, "You haven't eaten lunch?" So, meaning up until this point in time, you didn't or you haven't eaten lunch, you don't have the experience yet. So, it sounds like there's still a chance here but "yet" is not included. So, maybe that emphasis of expectation is missing in this sentence. This is just a very simple kind of basic way to confirm.
Finally, let's change this from present perfect here to simple past. "You didn't eat lunch?!" Here, "did not," so this is still expressing surprise. We still see this, "You didn't do something?!" with the emphasis marks at the end. This expresses surprise but there's no chance. So, remember, "didn't," simple past tense meaning the action started and ended in the past. This implies that the speaker did not eat lunch and now there is no chance for the speaker to eat lunch. Maybe it's 8 o'clock at night, for example, there's no more a feasible period of time for lunch. Lunch is finished. So, "You didn't eat lunch?!" simple past, no chance for lunch to happen.
So, these are very similar questions and you might hear any one of these at work or when meeting a friend. But there are some very subtle differences in nuance here so keep these in mind when you're using and when you're listening for "yet" and "already." I hope this lesson was useful for you.
If you have any questions or comments or if you want to try to make a sentence, feel free in the comments section below this video. If you liked the video, please make sure to give it a thumbs up, subscribe to the channel and check us out at EnglishClass101.com. Thanks very much for watching this episode on "yet" and "already" and I'll see you again soon. Bye-bye.

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It's really really nice I like the explanation thank you sister you're good in ii