I am a english student passionate about learning the language but sometimes I find some contradictory meanings (in my humble opinion). yet is one of the cases.

Since I also research by myself, I have looked this up in the Collins dictionary and I have found this:


sentence connector

  1. nevertheless; still; in spite of that ⇒ I want to and yet I haven't the courage, she is strange yet kind


  1. (usually used with a negative or interrogative) so far; up until then or now ⇒ they're not home yet, is it teatime yet?

  2. (often preceded by just; usually used with a negative) now (as contrasted with later) ⇒ we can't stop yet

  3. (often used with a comparative) even; still ⇒ yet more potatoes for sale, yet another problem family

  4. eventually, in spite of everything ⇒ we'll convince him yet

  5. See as yet

I have realised it has a lot of different meanings. Looking closely at the meanings in which the word acts as and 'adverb', the 1st meaning (which refers to already) is the opposite of the 3rd one. Despite the other meanings, and supposing I have understood the matter correctly and this is as I have explained (if not please leave a comment), how are these two meanings used and how can I easily mark the distinction between both (because since they mean different things, I don't want to express myself ambiguously)? Is it, as I think, depending on the context and whether the sentence is positive/negative/interrogative? Or is any other thing I am not aware of?

Could you please explain it to me, please?

Thank you very much for your time.

  • By the way, "exuberant" usually implies happy, or at least hopeful. I think you might have meant various, ubiquitous, excessive, multifarious, or some other less joyful adjective. Also, I would not say 3) is contradictory to 1), although it is quite different. There are many words in English that do have two opposite meanings; such a word is called an auto-antonym. See, for example, en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix:Glossary_of_auto-antonyms Commented Dec 26, 2014 at 22:17

1 Answer 1


Yes, it is dependent on context, and especially upon whether it's positive, negative or interrogative. Yes, it depends on some other things, but they are well described, or at least exemplified, in the multiple definition you gave. Practice; listen to native speakers; and if you have a question about the appropriateness or meaning of "yet" in a specific phrase, ask here again. You'll master it yet (so long as you are passionate—not "passioned"—about learning the language!) You are more curious than most native speakers about such subtleties; most are not even aware of how many ways we use such common words.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.