Both just and already are used in affirmative sentences. There is a difference of meaning.
Already is used to talk about something that has happened sooner than expected. It shows surprise. Just means exactly or very recently.
- It is just one o’clock. (= It is exactly one o’clock.)
- She has just arrived. (= Very recently)
- She has already left. (= She has left but we weren’t expecting that she would leave so soon.)
- She has just left. (= She left a moment ago.)
Just can also mean only.
- I just want a glass of water.
- I just asked.
Just is not used in questions or negative sentences.
Position of just, yet and already
Already usually goes with the verb. If there is no auxiliary verb, already goes before the verb. If there is an auxiliary verb, it goes after the auxiliary verb.
- She already arrived. (NOT She arrived already.)
- She has already arrived. (NOT She already has arrived.)
- I have already finished.
- Have you already finished?
Yet usually goes at the end of a clause. It can also go immediately after not.
- Don’t eat those mangoes – they are not ripe yet. OR Don’t eat those mangoes – they are not yet ripe.
Complete the following sentences using just, yet or already. Choose your answers from the options given in the brackets.
1. Has she come ———————? (just / yet)
2. They have ——————— finished. (already / yet)
3. They have not finished ——————— (yet / just)
4. I have ——————— heard from an old friend of mine. (just / yet)
5. Has the paperboy come ———————? (yet / just)
1. Yet; 2. Already; 3. Yet; 4. Just; 5. Yet