The meanings of "ya"

The meanings of "ya"

We see the word ya often, but it takes a lot of shapes and meanings, so let's see the ones you need:

Yeah,I know...

To give feedback when you're listening, meaning something like: yeah, I know, right...

Here is an example:

- Fui al ayuntamiento pero no sabía que necesitaba tener una cita.
- Ya...

-I went to the town hall but I didn't know I needed to have an appointment. - Ah, right...

Another example:

- Mónica me invitó a su cumpleaños, pero después de lo que pasó no sé si quiero ir, sabes?
- Ya, sí, te entiendo, yo tampoco iría.

-Monica invited me to her birthday, but after what happened I don't know if I want to go, you know?
- Yeah, yes, I understand, I wouldn't go either.


Ya alone usually means "already", and it goes before or after a verb. It's used in present, past and future:

Ya estábamos un poco cansados cuando llegaste
We were already a bit tired when you arrived

Voy a preparar ya la comida
I'm going to prepare the food already

Ya tenemos todo lo que necesitamos
We already have everything that we need

Estos deberes deberían estar ya hechos
This homework should be done already


Also by itself, with a certain urgent feel, not necessarily between exclamation marks, it means "now" or "immediately" and usually it's a suggestion or command:

¡Ven aquí ya!
Come here now!

Deberíamos movernos ya
We should move now

Not anymore

The combination Ya no + verb, in that order, means "not anymore*.
Sometimes it can be "no +verb + ya".

Ya no me llamas
You don't call me anymore

¿Ya no vas a clases de yoga?
You don't go to yoga classes anymore?

Ya no quiero comer carne
I don't want to eat meat anymore


Since, because. It goes between two parts of the sentence, the consequence and the cause. Or ya que + cause + consequence:

No estábamos preparados, ya que no habíamos tenido tiempo
We weren't prepared, since we hadn't had time

Ya que no te gustan las colas, voy a ir de compras sola
Since you don't like queues, I'm going to go shopping alone.


Also alone, and in future sentences with "simple future" (will do) most of the time

Ya nos veremos - We'll soon see each other
Ya lo pensaremos - We'll soon think about it
Ya veremos- We'll see soon
Ya verás - You'll soon see
Ya lo solucionaré - I'll solve it soon
Ya te contaré -I'll tell you about it soon

Oh, sure!

This one is an answer that means "oh, sure", and many times as the combination "ya, claro", ("yeah, of course").

Many times it's sarcastic, when you don't believe what you hear or don't agree.

When you actually agree, we usually reply with "sí, claro" instead. However it's not impossible to to use "ya claro" not being sarcastic, that will depend on the tone and the context!

- ¿Podríamos cenar en tu casa también para no tener que cocinar?

- Ya, claro, y desayunas y comes al día siguiente también

-Could we have dinner in your house too so that we don't have to cook?

-Yeah, sure, and have breakfast and lunch next day too.

- No llevo un regalo a la fiesta de cumpleaños pero quizás no le importe

- Ya claro, vas a ser el único que no lleve algo

-I don't bring a present to the birthday party but maybe he doesn't mind.

-Yeah, sure, you're going to be the only one that doesn't bring anything.


¡Ya te vale! - shame on you, how could you

¡Ya era hora! - About time!