We use still and Yet as adverbs to talk about things that have (or haven’t) happened over time. Though their meanings and uses are obvious, there are many situations in which they are used interchangeably to convey a similar idea: She says she doesn’t like her boss, still/ yet she won’t stop working for him.
Now, let’s talk about the uses of these two words separately.
Still: we use still as an adverb to refer to an action or a condition which began previously and is continuing until now: ‘They have been married for 20 years and they are still very much in love’, ‘We’re still waiting for our new building site plan to be approved’.
We usually place still between the subject and the main verb, or after the modal verb or first auxiliary verb, or after be as a main verb:
Amelia still goes to zumba classes every Saturday. (between subject and main verb)
She’s still learning French. (after the modal verb or first auxiliary verb)
They’re still complaining. (after main verb be)
We stress still and place it before the auxiliary or modal verb, when we want to show that the continuing situation is not considered necessary, especially when it is used in a negative clause:
She moved into a new house one month ago and still hasn’t got the occupancy certificate. (still is stressed)
He still can’t find his car keys. (still is stressed – he’s been looking for it for a long time)
We offered $10,000 for that old car but they still wanted more. (still is stressed for something that is true in spite of other things)
I am not very good at dancing. Still, I had gone for it or they’d have been offended. (still in front position to mean ‘on the other hand’ or ‘nevertheless’)
Yet: we use yet as an adverb to represent an action which is supposed to be started until now, but it fails to occur or start by the given time frame: ‘The project has not been completed yet’, ‘Where are you going for the vacation?’ ‘I don’t know yet.’
Convergence of Still and yet
We use yet and still in negative statements to express something that wasn’t true in the past and is even not true in the present. That is where ‘still’ and ‘yet converge. For example: in ‘Isabella still hasn’t signed up for online classes’ and ‘Isabella hasn’t signed up for online classes yet’; ‘Children still haven’t finished their lunch’ and ‘Children haven’t finished their lunch yet’ – each pair of these sentences, one with yet and one with still, means almost the same thing. However, in most cases, still comes with a sense of impatience that doesn’t happen with yet.
We use still not yet to refer to the continuation of a situation:
She is still in touch with her old flame. (she continues to be in touch with her old flame)
She is yet in touch with her old flame. ✗
In some societies, the dowry still prevails among the middle classes.
In some societies, the dowry yet prevails among the middle classes. ✗
Example sentences of still
Grandfather still lives in that dilapidated old house. (he was living in that house in the past, and he continues to live there)
It’s still raining!
It was still dark outside.
Do you still want to go over there?
She still lives with her ex-husband.
Do you still have her phone number?
She is still not ready for the party.
I can still remember that rainy night.
I still can’t remember his name.
I still do not know exactly what happened that evening.
More example sentences of still
Liam is still busy.
It is still raining.
The boss is still in the office.
If she still wants to join us, she can.
Is your younger brother still at school?
I still don’t know what you’re talking about.
The train hasn’t left yet. It is still there.
He still hasn’t found a buyer for his house.
I still haven’t found my car keys. I know it’s here somewhere.
Example sentences of yet
Have you got the transfer letter yet? (refers to a time which starts in the past and continues up to the present)
Despite putting enough time and energy into this project, they haven’t finished it yet.
Emma hasn’t enrolled for the modern art course yet. (in negative statements, an event is expected to happen in the future)
I haven’t seen ‘Jungle Cruise’ yet.
Are they home yet? (in affirmative, it shows that the speaker is expecting something to happen)
Has your parcel arrived yet?
Haven’t children arrived from school yet? (Negative questions can express a stronger expectation of something)
More example sentences of yet
It isn’t raining yet.
Haven’t you done your household chores yet?
She’s got a lot more work to do yet.
Have you completed your homework yet?
‘Is breakfast ready?’ ‘No, not yet.’