We use the adverbs "ya" and "ya no" with different tenses to express either "now" , "already", "finally" with ya, or "anymore/any longer" with ya no.
Ya to express "now"
We use "ya" followed generally by El Presente or El Imperativo when we want to say that we are doing the action right now, to express "I am doing it now" or "Do it now!" as in these examples:
-Laura, ven aqui. -¡Ya voy!-Laura, come here. -I'm coming [now]!
-Todavía no has sacado la basura. -Ya lo hago.-You haven't taken out the rubbish [US: garbage]. -I'm doing it [right now].
To express "already"
We can use "ya" with different tenses to express "already", for example:
Por entonces, ella ya tenía dos hijos.Back then, she already had two children.
Ya tengo conexión. Antes no había wi-fi.I already have a connection. There was no wifi before.
Mi hijo ya hablaba mucho con solo 2 años y medio.My son already talked a lot when he was only two and a half.
To express "finally"
We usually use ya with El Pretérito Indefinido to express finally [something happened] or at last, as if the speaker was expecting it to happen after a long wait. Here are some examples:
¡Ya llegó la primavera!Spring finally arrived!
¡Ya se fue la vecina! ¡Qué cotilla es!The neighbour finally left! She is so nosy!
For "ya" with perfect tenses see also:
To express "no longer/ no more"
We use "ya no" with different tenses to express "not doing something any more/any longer", for example:
Ya no te quiero. Me he enamorado de otra persona.I don't love you any more. I've fallen in love with someone else.
Ya no aguanto a mi jefe. Es muy estricto.I can't stand my boss any longer. He is very strict.
Cuando yo vi a Clara, ya no tenía las muletas.When I saw Clara, she no longer had crutches.
Ya no te molestará más ese niño. He hablado con sus padres.That boy won't bother you any more. I spoke to his parents.
To express "eventually"
We use ya with El Futuro Simple to express "eventually", i.e. for an action that will happen eventually but we are not sure when, although it is the speaker's intention.
For example, imagine your kid comes to you and says: "Papá, ¿cuándo me vas a comprar la bicicleta que me prometiste? (Dad, when are you going to buy that bike you promised me?) and if you are not sure about committing to it you would reply:
Ya veremos. We'll see. (it will happen eventually)
Then to reassure him you could say:
Ya hablaremos de eso con tu madre.We'll talk about that with your mother. (We'll talk with her eventually.)
There are other uses of "ya" that are more idiomatic, for example, to indicate that you've had enough you can say:
¡Ya está bien!That's enough!
See also Using ya with El Pretérito Perfecto and Using ya with El Pretérito Pluscuamperfecto
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