The adverb まだ (
not yet, depending on whether the sentence in which it is used is affirmative or negative.
The literal meaning of まだ is to indicate something that is unexpectedly still going on, something that is still in the state it was in before.
This meaning explains the reason for the two translations of まだ, as we go into more detail below.
In this post we learn more about the meaning of まだ, how it is formed, and when まだ is used through real example sentences.
How まだ is formed
まだ is an adverb and as such is used to modify verbs and adjectives in a sentence.
There are no specific rules that indicate where an adverb should be placed in a sentence.
Nonetheless, it is common to find adverbs at the beginning of the sentence (although not necessary). まだ modifies affirmative verbs in the ている form (translated as
still) or negative verbs (translated as
It's not finished yet.
まだ is the opposite of もう, which expresses something that ended unexpectedly.
It's already finished.
As mentioned previously, when まだ is used in an affirmative sentence its meaning becomes
still: something that is currently still in the state it was in before.
The verb is in the ている form, which is used in Japanese to indicate an ongoing action (
It's still raining.
In this simple example we see how まだ is at the beginning of the sentence and indicates that the
rain (雨) is still
まだ: "not yet"
When instead まだ is used in a sentence in the negative (verb in the ない form) its meaning becomes
not yet: something that is not currently in the state it was expected to be.
He hasn't come home yet.
The example uses the verb
to return (home) (帰る) in the negative form 帰らない:
Since the verb is in the negative form, まだ translates as
Have you written it yet?
No, I haven't written it yet.
I haven't seen this movie yet.
The form まだ~ていない is generally used to indicate something that hasn't been done yet.
Special expressions with まだ
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Examples of まだ
Are you still there?
There is still a way left.
It's still moving.