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I always struggle with the following and am seeking some clarity -

Is there ANY difference or are they IDENTICAL in meaning

  1. I have yet to find that ...
  2. I have not yet found that ...
  3. I have not found that ...
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  • Including yet strongly implies the speaker expects/hopes to find the thing at some point in the future, but version #3 is completely neutral in that respect (where speaker might be quite certain that if he didn't find it first time around, he's never going to find it). Idiomatically, #1 is a bit more "stylised, poetic, formal" than #2, but to be honest I think most native speakers in most contexts would be more likely to say I haven't found that so far. Sep 2 '18 at 16:02
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  • I have yet to find a good book on that topic.
  • I have not yet found a good book on that topic.

That can be used but would make for a more complicated sentence and I am concentrating on the yet part of this.

Those sentences are semantically the same.

  • I have not found a book on that topic. [no yet]

The yet implies that "you" have been searching for a good book on the topic. The sentence with no yet means that until the time you utter the sentence starting in the past, you have not found a good book on the topic.

The yet does assume a background or implied present perfect continuous such as "have been looking for one" like this:

"I have been looking for a book on that topic and have not yet found one."

Whereas, the "have not found" just tells us that until now, when you say that, you have found no book on the topic. It does not focus on the action (the looking part), it merely states that as of this time in the present, "you" have not found one. It implies: "I have looked for a good book on this topic but have not found one." That just tells us that with regard to the past and until now, you have not found one. The looking is not the emphasis of the sentence. The verb found is.

Please note, I am providing an interpretation at the level of discourse, and not just grammar.

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  • IMO, those sentences are NOT semantically the same. The second just informs that something didn't happen, while the first is often used to indicate that they do not expect something to happen soon. Sep 2 '18 at 16:03
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    @My Log I have yet to understand you. I have not yet understood you. Same thing. informs requires an object in English. So....
    – Lambie
    Sep 2 '18 at 16:24
  • @Lambie. My confusion was not regarding grammar, as all three (and many other sentences) are grammatically correct. Your interpretation was on point.
    – B Chen
    Sep 2 '18 at 17:50

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