Grammar Tips: Uses of ‘ya’ in Spanish

Grammar Tips: Uses of ‘ya’ in Spanish

Estrella brillante con texto "¡AHORRA YA!"Ya is a tricky word in Spanish. In the dictionary, it usually translates as now or already.  However, it can also have other nuanced meanings including emotions such as agreement or impatience. Tone in your delivery also plays an important role in deciphering meaning.  Finally, one finds ya more in casual speech than in formal written Spanish.   Below are some possible translations with example sentences.

 

  • already -I already have it. = Ya lo tengo.
  • already- (to express surprise) You’re eating already?  = ¿Ya comes? 
  • right away: You need to work right now. = Tienes que trabajar ya.
  • still, any more (especially in the negative): = No longer/Not anymore. = Ya no.
  • as: As they are not here, we can leave: = Ya que no están aquí, podemos salir.
  • now:  (after some effort) Now I get it. = Ya entiendo.
  • to show frustration:  Enough already!  = ¡Basta ya!
  • to indicate emphasis:  I believe you already! = ¡Ya te creo!
  • to express irony or doubt: Sure you have it. = Ya lo tienes.
  • to offer reassurance:  You will be okay. = Ya estarás bien.

 

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