From this passage in the Harry Potter series:

He bought Harry a hamburger and they sat down on plastic seats to eat them. Harry kept looking around. Everything looked so strange, somehow. "You all right, Harry? Yer very quiet," said Hagrid. Harry wasn't sure he could explain. He'd just had the best birthday of his life -- and yet -- he chewed his hamburger, trying to find the words. "Everyone thinks I'm special," he said at last.

Does "yet" mean "still" or "in spite what has been said"?

  • 2
    Yes. It's a slightly more "formal, literary" alternative to plain but. Jun 8, 2017 at 15:28
  • 1
    Yes, "yet" means "still" and yes, in this context it means "in spite of what has been said".Try replacing "yes" in this quote with "still". The meaning does not change.
    – David42
    Jun 8, 2017 at 15:46
  • That is the narrator indirectly revealing Harry's thought. The words and yet say to the reader that Harry is trying to put into words the thing which is undermining his sense of well-being, the thing which would contradict the notion that all is well with the birthday-boy.
    – TimR
    Jun 9, 2017 at 10:42

1 Answer 1


You are correct that it is "in spite of" but the implication is that in spite of his excellent day ("the best birthday of his life"), he hesitates and has to think before answering the question "[Are] You all right, Harry?"

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