In What does "yet" mean in this sentence? the OP quoted the following sentence, together with another one.

Finally, even if the scroll didn't point to real treasure, it has yet to be found.

Why is the sentence using "it has yet to be found" and not "it has not been found"?
Does the first phrase mean there are chances to find it, or that somebody is looking for what the scroll is pointing to?

Reading the other sentence, I would take there are few chances to find the treasure, except in the case somebody is able to understand which locations are described in the script.

  • It's worth remembering that in English, it is possible to have different ways of saying the same thing. A sentence can be worded in more than one way but still have the same meaning. – Tristan May 1 '13 at 14:48
  • That is why I am asking this question: to know if the meaning is the same or different. English is not different from Italian: Also in Italian I could say the same thing in different ways. – kiamlaluno May 1 '13 at 14:53
  • Why did you ask a duplicate question? It seems exactly similar to this question here ell.stackexchange.com/questions/5971/…? – Dude May 1 '13 at 15:45
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    The sentence is illogical. The second clause is a non sequitur. To make it logical, the first clause would have to be Finally, even if the scroll {did / claimed to [CHOOSE ONE]} point to real treasure,. The writer had serious cerebral ileus when evacuating this sentence. It wasn't proofread. – user264 May 1 '13 at 15:46
  • @JoeDimaggio I am not asking what yet means; I am asking why the sentence uses "it has yet to be found" and not "it has not been found." They are not duplicates. – kiamlaluno May 1 '13 at 15:56
up vote 5 down vote accepted

"Yet" means "at this time" or "up to this time".

So, "It has yet to be found" means "As of this point in time, it has not been found."

The difference between "it has yet to be found" and "it has not been found" is that the first version implies that we expect to find it eventually, while the second does not.

Without the larger context, it's not clear if the sentence means that the scroll has not yet been found or that the treasure has not yet been found. If the intended meaning is that that the treasure has not yet been found, the sentence is a little confusing, as it says there may not be any treasure, but then implies that we expect to find this non-existent treasure. But perhaps if we had the whole paragraph or page it would make sense.

  • The next sentence starts with "This is because the sixty-four locations the scroll describes"; I would take the scroll has been found, or the sentence should not use a phrase like "the scroll describes" which seems to indicate certainty. – kiamlaluno May 1 '13 at 14:50

The ordinary interpretation (and possibly the only sensible interpretation) of “it has yet to be found” is “it exists, but so far it has not been found”.

Because “it has yet to be found” to some extent implies the existence of “it”, while “even if the scroll didn't point to real treasure” postulates there is no treasure at some place, the whole phrase reads inconsistently and seems to be malformed. Instead, one would expect statements like the following:

Even if the scroll pointed to real treasure, it has yet to be found.
Even if the treasure listed in the scroll is real (but is not where the scroll says), it has yet to be found.

  • I found "even if the scroll didn't point to a real treasure" incoherent with "it has yet to be found"; then I thought that "real treasure" could mean "something that for us is not a treasure (e.g. silver, gold, jewellery), but it was something precious for the people who have hidden it." Would saying "real treasure" make sense? – kiamlaluno May 1 '13 at 14:46
  • @kiamlaluno, real treasure is slightly ambiguous. It can refer, as you suggest, to tangible valuables such as silver, gold, and gems, or to less-tangible things such as intellectual property, or to larger things such as land, homes, vehicles. The connotation of real in my second example is actual or existing, rather than substantial. – James Waldby - jwpat7 May 1 '13 at 14:54
  • I was thinking more of real used in the quoted sentence as in "real coffee" or "real maple syrup" but I got what you meant. – kiamlaluno May 1 '13 at 16:07
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    "for us is not a treasure" Perhaps that is the intended meaning. We accept that the scroll points to some sort of treasure, but we can't know whether this is a "real treasure" -- something actually of value to us -- until it is found. – Jay May 1 '13 at 19:37

"It has yet to be found" implies "It exists and can still be found."

And that's (probably) true even if the scroll gave us a false lead last time.

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