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 in Past. I chose this topic to cover today because it can be a very challenging topic, especially for new students of the Spanish language.



El bebé ya camina. (The baby is already walking). We use this idea when we were expecting something from someone that we know he/she was going to do in any moment.

Ya regreso. (I will be right back). We use this phrase when we are going to do something soon, for example in a restaurant, the waiter could say: Ya te traigo la cuenta. (I will bring you the check in a moment.

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


El bebé todavía no habla. (The baby doesn’t speak yet). We use this idea when we are expecting something from someone that we know he/she is going to do in any moment

Vivo con mis padres todavía. (I still live with my parents.) We can use this form when something that we used to do in our lives could of changed, but we still continue to do it in the same way.

PAST (Past Perfect, Simple Past or Pluperfect)


No quiero cenar. Ya he cenado. Gracias. (I don’t want to eat dinner. I have already eaten dinner. Thanks.)

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

Cuando Juan llegó a casa, yo ya me había duchado. (When Juan came home, I had already showered.) In this example I had already showered before Juan came home. It is the “past before the past.”


Tengo hambre. No he cenado todavía. (I’m hungry. I haven’t eaten dinner yet.) In this context I haven’t done something on my list of plans yet, but I plan on doing it.

Cuando Juan llegó a casa yo todavía no había preparado la comida. (When Juan came home I still had not prepared the food.) In this case it is a “past before another past”, but the action had not happened before the most recent past.



A los 20 años yo ya tenía a mi primer hijo. (At age 20 I already had my first child.) This is an actual situation that was the same in a moment in the past.


Cuando te conocí yo todavía vivía con mi ex novia. (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 was happening at the same time as another event.

via Learning Spanish Reviews Blog » How To Use Ya and Todavía In Spanish.

Comments are closed.


Tell A Friend
Tell a Friend
Free Dictionary

Learn More Spanish