English Grammar. Present Perfect + Yet / Already / Just
Climate Change and Global Warming
The world has three years to start making significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions or face the prospect of dangerous global warming, experts have warned in an article in the prestigious journal Nature. Calling for world leaders to be guided by the scientific evidence rather than “hide their heads in the sand”, they said “entire ecosystems” were already beginning to collapse, summer sea ice was disappearing in the Arctic and coral reefs were dying from the heat.
The world could emit enough carbon to bust the Paris Agreement target of between 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius in anything from four to 26 years if current levels continue, the article said. Global emissions had been rising rapidly but have plateaued in recent years.
The experts, led by Christiana Figueres, who as Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change played a key role in the Paris Agreement, said they must start to fall rapidly from 2020 at the latest. “The year 2020 is crucially important for another reason, one that has more to do with physics than politics,” they said.
Citing a report published in April, they added: “Should emissions continue to rise beyond 2020, or even remain level, the temperature goals set in Paris become almost unattainable. “Lowering emissions globally is a monumental task, but research tells us that it is necessary, desirable and achievable.” The article was signed by more than 60 scientists, such as Professor Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University, politicians, including former Mexican President Felipe Calderon and ex-Irish President Mary Robinson, businesspeople like Paul Polman, chief executive of Unilever, investment managers, environmental campaigners and others.
Gene: You shouldn’t have stayed up so late watching TV. I told you we had to get an early start.
Ed: I know, but that movie was just too good to leave. I guess I’ll just have to pay the price and be sleepy.
Gene: Do you want to eat breakfast here?
Ed: No. Why don’t we just grab a bite at the coffee shop next door?
Gene: Okay by me.
TV = television
Get an early start = leave early in the morning
Just = simply
Pay the price = suffer the consequences
Grab a bite = (Informal) get something to eat
Coffee shop = a type of restaurant
Okay by me. = It’s all right with me.
Present Perfect + Yet / Already / Just
The words already, yet, recently, lately, and just, all refer to a recent and non-specific time. A specific time would be “yesterday” or “three hours ago” or last Friday “. In these cases we would use the simple past.
Already and yet
Already can be used in positive statements and questions.
“I’ve already read today’s newspaper.”
“Have you already paid the electric bill?”
“She’s finished the test already.”
Note: “Already” can go in between “have/has” and the past participle (as in the first two examples) or at the end of the sentence.
Yet can be used in negative statements and questions.
“We haven’t cleaned the house yet.”
“Has he told you the good news yet?”
“Have they booked their tickets yet?”
Note: “Yet” usually goes at the end of the sentence or phrase.
Recently, lately, and just
Recently and lately can be used in positive statements, negative statements, or questions:
“He’s recently lost some weight.”
“I haven’t seen her recently.”
“Have you spoken to Beth recently?”
“I’ve gotten a lot of spam e-mails lately.”
“Adam and Jessica haven’t been to church lately.”
“Have you seen any good movies lately?”
(usually means very recent) is typically only used in positive statements and questions:
“Don’t touch the walls. I’ve just painted them; they’re still wet.”
“What book have you just finished reading?”
Spoken American English often uses the simple past with already, yet, and just:
“Did you book the tickets yet?” (instead of “Have you booked…”)
“I already replied to the e-mail.” (instead of “I’ve already replied…”)
“We just got back from the gym.” (instead of “We’ve just got…”)
Until next time…
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