I was writing a message to a friend. She was going to arrive to my country one of these days. I was about to ask:

Are you here yet?

But then I thought, "Is that a 'legal' question?" Judging from context.reverso.net it probably is. One can see there:

Are you finished yet?

But I don't think (judging from dictionaries) "yet" can ever mean "already." It's probably closer to "not already."

My conjecture here is that "are you here already?" is a neutral question. But if I use "yet" instead, it's like, "I've been waiting for you for a couple of days now. Haven't you arrived yet?" Meaning, "yet" makes it more emotional, conveys a feeling of longing or something.

To sum it up. Can I use "yet" in the above mentioned context? If so, what would it mean? If not, what is a better phrasing?

  • Can 'yet' ever mean 'already'? Please see Lexico "Adverb yet² Still; even (used to emphasize increase or repetition). Snow, snow, and yet more snow." Mar 21, 2021 at 19:51
  • Re the main question, 'yet' can show impatience, but "Have you arrived?" seems too curt. Perhaps you can say "Please tell me when [or as soon as] you get here." Mar 21, 2021 at 19:55
  • @WeatherVane Indeed, my question is probably a bit messy (think, mixed-up thoughts). If "Are you here yet?" is a correct question, then in this case "yet" can be replaced with "already." Except that then we lose a notion of impatience. Which means "yet" can have a meaning close to "already" in questions. And that would probably be the first meaning here, not the third one. Did I get that right?
    – x-yuri
    Mar 21, 2021 at 20:19
  • 1
    Phrasing as a negative question can sound impatient, or even annoyed. "Are you here yet?" is good, especially if followed by something to take the edge off it, such as "I can't wait to see you!" Mar 21, 2021 at 20:28
  • 1
    "Are you here already?" implies surprise that the person is here so soon. Mar 22, 2021 at 9:31

1 Answer 1


Yet means already in a clause with a negative polarity context. Despite the name, such contexts include questions as well as negative statements.

So any can occur in NP contexts:

There aren't any trees here.

Are there any trees here?

but not

*There are any trees here.

and so can yet:

I haven't seen him yet.

Have you seen him yet?

but not

*I have seen him yet.

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