Difference between “ya” and “todavía”
A lot of people get these two mixed up, because they do not have the trick, I will be giving away later.
The reason you got them confused is because they have sooo many different meanings..
When we use “ya” in a positive sentences it means “now or already”
Ya tengo vestido para la boda de Gema-“I already have the dress for Gema’s wedding”
When we use it in a negative sentences it means “no anymore”
Ya no voy al gimnasio con Virginia-“I don’t go to the gym with Virginia anymore”
The same happens with
depending on the sentences means one thing or the other
When we use “todavía” in a positive sentences it means “still”
Todavía estudio español-“I still study Spanish”
When we use it in a negative sentence it means “not yet”
Todavía no tengo hijos-“I haven’t got children yet”
#TheTip–we use “ya” when something has change, a change has taken place and “todavía” when nothing has changed, everything is still the same.
Imagine you go and visit a friend who just had a baby, he is so tiny and he can’t walk or run, you do not see your friend (or her baby) in a year and after a year you see them again and the baby walks now…so you could say
!Oh, el bebé ya anda!-“Oh the baby already walks!”
As you can see the change before he did not walk now he does
And the mother could say
!Sí!Ya anda, pero todavía no corre-“Yes! He walks already/now but still does not run”
As he has not run before and still can’t do it, no change there.
Think about the examples above too, they all make sense if you think about a change on the situation like
“ya he comprado el vestido para la boda”-“I have already bought the dress for the wedding”
So before you did not have the a dress for the wedding but when you say the sentences you do….so something has change…
Or let’s take these two sentences
-Ya no trabajo en la escuela-“I do not work at the school anymore”
-Todavía trabajo en la escuela-“I still work at the school”
Ya no trabajo en la escuela-“I do not work at the school anymore”, again a change there…before you worked at the school…now you don’t…
But if you say , todavía trabajo en la escuela-“I still work at the school”, there is no change there before you worked at the school, now you do as well….
#watchout when we use “todavía” in negative sentences it has the meaning that you expect that to change like
“Todavía no he visto la películo de Almodovar”-“I haven’t seen Almodovar’s film yet”
That means you want to watch it, if you do not have that desire you would just say
No he visto la películo de Almodovar-“I haven’t seen Almodovar’s film”
Or….Todavía no tengo hijos, that means you don’t have them yet but it is possible you have them in the future..
Easy? A bit more tricky…#whatwithquestions
And when we use them in questions….aha!That is a bit more of a headache as it is just depend on the judge of the person who asks the question, if the person thinks the change has taken place they will use “ya”
If they think probably the change has taken place they will use “todavía”
Imagine you are talking with your friends about learning Spanish and you are talking about you need to study the verbs, and they are difficult bla, bla, bla… If after a while you see one of your friends and you speak about Spanish again he could ask
-¿Ya has estudiado los verbos en español? –“Have you study the Spanish verbs yet?”
That means he thinks you have had enough time to do it, but…you never know so you answer could be
-Sí, ya los he estudiado –“yes, I have already studied them”
-No, todavía no los he estudiado-“no, I haven;t studied them yet”
He could ask you as well…
¿Todavía tienes problemas con los verbos en español?- “do you still have trouble with the Spanish verbs?”
And again…you could answer either
Si, todavía tengo problemas con ellos….-“yes, I still have problems with them”
No, ya no tengo problemas con ellos….-“no I do not have problems with them anymore”
I hope this helps. I leave you a video I recorded to help you 🙂
Also this week I have an special homework for you, you are going to do the quiz-keep reading and find out, but first I would love you to leave a comment with the content you would like to read about in this blog this year, as I want to serve you as best as I can, that is why I need your help
-What would you like to learn more about?
-What is your big challenge learning Spanish?
-What are you interested about in the Spanish language?
Anything, anything is a burning thing relate to the Spanish language for you, this is your time, take advantage of it! I will be picking someone from the comments to win a copy of the “Spanish idioms book”
Your turn…. Click the following link and jump to do the quiz I got ready for you so you can check if finally you got the differences between “ya” and “todavía”, once you had done it come back to the comments and let us know how it went.
-Did you dominate the text?
-Do you need a second read?
-What is the most confusing thing about “ya” and “todavía”?
I am so looking forward to reading you all.
Write to you soon 🙂 !Buena suerte!