Using YA and TODAVÍA, and deciding which one to use, is normally quite challenging for people learning Spanish as a foreign language. This is because most students search for a direct translation from English to Spanish, and this does not work at all.
Todavía no he comprado los regalos (I haven’t bought the books yet).
Todavía estoy pensando que regalos voy a comprar (I am still thinking what present I am going to buy).
In this extremely useful video, you are going to learn a new way to think about YA and TODAVÍA, that will allow you to quickly figure out which o these words you need to you ¡Vamos al vídeo!
YA vs TODAVÍA: how to use them without translating
Before starting the video remember to have pen and paper with you, stop the video as many times as you need to write down any relevant information you come across. Also, don’t forget to repeat the Spanish examples, that will help you to improve your pronunciation and listening skills at the same time.
As you have seen YA and TODAVIA can be translated into English in different ways, and some of them can be common to both words.
YA: already, now, by now, yet, still, no longer, anymore.
TODAVÍA: yet, still, even, already.
The trick is to consider that these words are adding expectations to time-based events, as you can see in the chart on the right, and with the examples.
¿Todavía estás trabajando? (Are you still working?)
Carlos ya no trabaja aquí (Carlos is not working here anymore).
¿Han llegado ya los niños? (Have the children arrived yet?)
Los niños todavía no han llegado (The childres haven’t arrived yet).
Ya with the imperative
YA can also be used in Spanish along with an imperative, meaning “immediately” or “right now”. In this case, “ya” is usually placed at the end of the sentence.
¡Haz los deberes ya! (Do the homework immediately!)
¡Dime la verdad ya! (Tell me the truth right now!)
Exercises about TODAVÍA and YA
Here you have some interactive exercises to practice when to use «todavía» and «ya».
If you have any questions or comments, you can leave them below and why not give us some examples using «ya» and «todavía», we will happy to correct them for you. Finally, don’t forget you can contact your tutor with any questions you have. Don´t you have a Spanish online tutor yet?