But since China signed up to the U.N.'s toughest sanctions against North Korea yet in March, after Pyongyang's fourth nuclear test, the daily caravan of trucks rumbling over Dandong's iron bridge from the North has slowed to a trickle.

My question is:How to explain "yet" in the paragraph cited from Time above? Does it mean "again"? But I can't find any record shows that China had done this to North Korea before. Thank you!

2 Answers 2


If you look at the definition of yet, you can see that it means:

Up until the present or a specified or implied time; by now or then.

In the case of your example sentence, yet is part of the larger phrase:

toughest sanctions against North Korea yet

Simply meaning

toughest sanctions to have ever been placed on North Korea

  • I can't believe I didn't see that!Thank you very much. Oct 14, 2016 at 10:05
  • I checked the word before posting the question, just didn't seem to fit any of definitions. I kept focusing on "yet in March" instead of "toughest...yet". Haha! Thank you for your explanation. It's very clear! Oct 14, 2016 at 10:18
  • Jasmine, I can well believe you didn't see it! I'm a native speaker, and I was convinced this was an error until I read FatMan's answer. I had been parsing the sentence to associate "Yet" with "in March"; completely missed the possibility of "toughest sanctions yet". I don't believe that this is a well-constructed sentence.
    – djna
    Oct 14, 2016 at 15:56
  • Really? thought that was my own reading problem. Turns out it wasn't!Thank you Djna!!! Oct 15, 2016 at 10:07

The original sentence's word order is a little confusing.

But since China signed up to the U.N.'s toughest sanctions against North Korea yet in March...

Let's move "in March" and reposition "yet".

But since China signed up in March to the UN's toughest sanctions yet against North Korea...

These are the "toughest sanctions yet" or "the toughest sanctions to date".

Yet modifies "toughest" (or the predicate that they are the toughest). These sanctions are the toughest yet, the toughest to date.


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