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The three adverbs: a) share the common meaning "to a greater degree or extent;

b) when used in comparing two or more things, may be either preceded or followed by the article, e.g. "a (an) yet/still/even bigger fool (than)..." and "yet/still/even a bigger fool (than)..."

The question I'm in search of the answer to is this:

Whether they all are interchangeable in any context.

To me, it would be easier to solve the problem I face by reading vivid examples of the usage.

As for the examples on the Google Books Ngram Viewer, try as I may, I cannot get the problem solved, if there is a problem.

So, I'd be extremely grateful to those who could suggest a couple of example sentences where one of the adverbs is more preferable than the others, or where one (or two) is/are the only possible option(s). Brief explanations of "why this and not that one" are most welcome.

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  • You need to post examples.
    – Lambie
    Apr 24 at 20:47
  • Dear @Lambie, if I didn't have trouble with the examples, I wouldn't have asked for them. In those that I gave a link to, the adverbs are used in sentences placed in different contexts, so for me, an ESL learner, the nuance usage of each one is rather hard to grasp. That you're asking me to provide the examples I myself am asking for makes me even more puzzled:( Were you learning my native language and asked me in my mother tongue a similar question, I swear to God I'd help you:)
    – Victor B.
    Apr 24 at 22:19
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No, they are not always interchangeable.

The first three mean the same.
1 He is an even bigger fool - colloquial.
2 He is a still bigger fool - less colloquial than 1.
3 He is a yet bigger fool - less colloquial than 1.

4 He is even a bigger fool than I am means 'I am a fool but he is a worse one.'
But, emphasized differently:
4 He is even a bigger fool than I am means 'As well as a bigger liar, thief [...] than I am.'

5 He is still a bigger fool means 'He always WAS a bigger fool and he remains one'.
6 He is yet a bigger fool means the same as 5, but is sometimes used to mean 3.

Nowadays we rarely use 'yet' in this context.

It's a good idea to look for vivid examples of their use: better than looking for rules, I think. If there were simple rules we would tell you them! :-)

There are vivid examples of the words' adverbial uses at Lexico: yet (definition 2), still (definition 3) and even (definition 1.1)

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