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Spanish Grammar A1 ⮟
Ser and Estar in Spanish for Beginners
Está and Hay in Spanish to Express Location
The Present Indicative in Spanish
The verb querer in Spanish: how to use it
The Verb Gustar in Spanish
Demonstratives in Spanish and Adverbs of Place
Possessive Adjectives in Spanish
The Present Continuous in Spanish: Estar + Gerund
The Gerund in Spanish: Form and Basic Uses
Expressions of Quantity in Spanish: Muy and Mucho
Spanish Grammar A2 ⮟
Present Perfect Indicative in Spanish
The Past Simple in Spanish
The Preterite Imperfect Indicative in Spanish
Indicative past tenses in Spanish
How to Express Future in Spanish
How to use por and para in Spanish
Possessive Pronouns in Spanish
Comparative Adjectives in Spanish
Ya in Spanish: Meaning and Usage
Subject Personal Pronouns in Spanish
Expressing Obligation in Spanish
Spanish Grammar B1 ⮟
The Pluperfect Indicative in Spanish
The Future Simple in Spanish
The Conditional Simple in Spanish
The imperative mood in Spanish
The present subjunctive in Spanish
Verbal Periphrasis in Spanish
General Rules of Accentuation in Spanish
Expressing Wishes with the Subjunctive in Spanish
The Use of Cuando with Indicative and Subjunctive
Position of Object Pronouns in Spanish
Spanish Grammar B2 ⮟
Advanced Uses of Conditional Simple
The Future Perfect in Spanish
The Conditional Perfect in Spanish
Present Perfect Subjunctive in Spanish
How do I use the past imperfect subjunctive?
The Pluperfect Subjunctive in Spanish
How to express probability in Spanish
Conditional Clauses in Spanish
Verbs of Change in Spanish
Reported Speech in Spanish
Spanish Grammar C1 ⮟
The passive Voice in Spanish
Adverbial Clauses of Manner in Spanish
Adverbial Clauses of Cause in Spanish
Clauses of Purpose in Spanish
Conditional Conjunctions in Spanish
Uses of the Pronoun SE with Syntactic Function
Uses of the Pronoun Se as a Verb Mark
The Indeterminate Feminine in Spanish

Ya in Spanish: Meanings and Usage

Ya in Spanish is an adverb that causes a lot of confusion among students of Spanish. In this article at our grammar resources section we are going to learn different meanings of the word ya in Spanish.

The main uses of ya can be placed in the past, present and future. Let’s look at them in more detail.

Ya in the Past (already)

It expresses a completed action in relation to the moment of speech. In this case we use the present perfect tense.

Ya he terminado mis deberes.

But you can also express a completed action before another one in the past by using the pluperfect indicative.

Cuando llegué a casa, tú ya habías hecho la cena.



Ya in the Present (now, not anymore)

We can also use ya to talk about an action that occurs at the same moment of speech. It is usually used with the imperative or expressions of obligation.

Llama ya a tus padres.

Ya puede usted entrar en la oficina.

When we use it in the negative form, we express that the action has been interrupted and is not active in the present.

Ya no vivo en Madrid.

Ya in the Future (soon)

The adverb ya can also express an action that will occur in the near future. With this usage, we indicate that we should be patient because it will eventually be fulfilled.

Ya aprobarás el examen DELE, no te preocupes.

Likewise, we can express that we are going to accomplish a task imminently.

—¡Venga! Termina, que no llegamos al concierto.

—¡Ya voy!

Ya as an Interjection

Ya in Spanish is primarily an adverb; however, it can also have other uses. Ya can be used as an interjection to express emotions. For example, disbelief (sure):

¿Has conocido a Lebron James en tus vacaciones? ¡Ya…!

When we use it repeatedly, we can indicate that we understand or agree (for sure) with what our interlocutor has informed us.

—Sabes que va a llover mañana, ¿verdad?

Ya, ya.

Ya as a Conjunction

The conjunction ya in Spanish is used to join different options (whether). When it joins verb clauses, verbs are used in the subjunctive to express the uncertainty of the option to be chosen.

Ya estudies español, ya estudies inglés, hazlo con un profesor especializado.

On the other hand, ya que introduces a subordinate clause of cause (because):

Debemos preparar la reunión del viernes, ya que es muy importante para la empresa.

Fixed Phrases with Ya

In colloquial language, there are set phrases containing the adverb ya in Spanish. Let’s look at some of them.

  • ¡Basta ya!: Estoy harto de ese ruido. ¡Basta ya!
  • ¡Anda ya!: ¿Tienes un primo en la NASA? ¡Anda ya!
  • ¡Corta ya!: Llevas media hora al teléfono. ¡Corta ya!
  • ¡Pues ya ves!: Pues ya ves, otra vez vamos a trabajar juntos.
  • Ya verás: Ya verás cómo apruebas el examen DELE con nuestros profesores.

As you can see, the word ya in Spanish has multiple meanings and uses. If you want to put them into practice, reserve conversation classes at You will learn and have fun. Ya verás.

Infographics about the word ya in Spanish: meanings and usage