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How to use Ya and Still in Spanish

In this lesson we will study the uses of two very important words in Spanish: YA and TODAVÍA. These words have different meanings used in Present or Past. I chose this topic to cover today because it can be a very challenging topic, especially for new learners of the Spanish language.



The baby is already walking. (The baby is already walking). We use this idea when we expected something from someone that we knew they were going to do at any moment.

There is a return. (I’ll be right back). We use this phrase when we are going to do something soon, for example in a restaurant, the waiter could say: I’ll bring you the bill. (I’ll bring you the check in in a moment.

I no longer drink alcohol. (I don’t drink alcohol anymore.) We use it when we used to do something and we stopped doing it.


The baby still doesn’t speak. (The baby does not speak yet). We use this idea when we are expecting something from someone that we know they are going to do at any moment.

I live with my parents still. (I still live with my parents). We can use this form when something we used to do in our lives might have changed, but we continue to do it the same way.

PAST (Past Perfect, Past Simple or Pluperfect)


I do not wanna dinner. Already dinner. Thank you. (I don’t want dinner. I already had dinner. Thank you.)

In this context we have already done something in the past.

When Juan got home, I had already showered. (When Juan got home, I had already showered.) In this example, I had already showered before Juan got home. It is the “past before the past”.


I have a room. Not dinner yet. (I’m hungry. I haven’t had dinner yet.) In this context, I haven’t done anything on my list of plans yet, but I plan to.

When Juan got home I still hadn’t prepared the food. (When Juan got home he still hadn’t prepared the food.) In this case it is a “past before another past”, but the action had not happened before the most recent past.



At 20 years old I already had my first child. (At 20 years old I already had my first child). This is a real situation that was the same at a time in the past.


When I met you I was still living with my ex-girlfriend. (When I met you I was still living with my ex-girlfriend). This is something that has changed in the present, but in the past it was happening at the same time as another event.

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