a. The law has not reflected it yet.

b. The law doesn't reflect it yet.

What is the difference in meaning between the two sentences?

  • 3
    Same meaning, but "b. The law doesn't reflect it yet" sounds more natural to this native English speaker. Commented Aug 14, 2017 at 14:43
  • Formal standard English is: present perfect.
    – Lambie
    Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 20:36

4 Answers 4


I think the difference between the two sentences lies rather in the intent of the speaker. Both sentences convey the meaning that "it" is not yet reflected by the law. However, in

The law has not reflected it yet.

the stress would fall on the impact on the present of this meaning (which can be inherent to this sentence or expressed in its surrounding context). This sentence is more dynamic, as it seems to imply either hope that the law will reflect this in the future, or disappointment that this has not already occurred until now.

As for the other sentence (not idiomatic)

The law doesn't reflect it yet.

it is more neutral, it just asserts the present state of affairs.. This sentence contains less connotations but can receive them from its surrounding context.

For more about the use of yet with present simple see this answer.


As a native American English speaker, I would say that (a) is an awkward (but grammatically correct) way of saying (b).

  • 1
    Actually, a) is right and b) is not standard. Yet in formal grammar takes the present perfect.
    – Lambie
    Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 20:52

Use of yet:

I have not seen him yet. [standard English]

I did not see him yet. [not standard, but said. Should not be written]

[here is "proof"] [joke]1

Unless one has taught English or translated, one is not apt to come across this unless one's English teacher was especially persnickety.

  • Yeah, it was a typo.
    – Lambie
    Commented May 11, 2018 at 20:46
  • Ok. Deleting my comment... Commented May 11, 2018 at 20:51

I also come across sentences which "yet" is used in verb phrases or sentences:

1) verb be + yet + infinitive (or verb be + infinitive + "yet" at the end of the sentence) She is yet to inform her mother about her pregnancy. I am to take the exam next year yet.

2) have/has + yet + infinitive (or have + infinitive + "yet" at the end of the sentence) He has yet to submit his resume on the company's website. One has to register the website before getting e-mails yet.

3) all negative sentences He doesn't yet forgive his friend. (present tense; middle of helping & main verb) I am not believing her statement yet. (present progressive; at the end of the sentence) They didn't ask their adviser's approval yet when I invited them to come along with the tree planting of my class. (past tense; middle of the sentence) I haven't taken in the lesson yet. (present perfect tense) She won't yet entertain suitors until college graduation. (future tense)

4) affirmative simple present tense The trees fall away yet? (from sample sentence of this website: https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=can%27t%20see%20the%20forest%20for%20the%20trees)

  • 1
    It's not clear how you're answering the question. Please address the given question and provide a clear explanation.
    – Em.
    Commented Oct 27, 2018 at 3:48

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