by this time / before now [synonyms for yet?]

Tenacious Learner

Senior Member
Spanish
Hi teachers,
Could I consider 'by this time' and 'before now' synonyms for 'yet' in the following sentence?
She hasn't finished her reports yet.

Thanks in advance.
 
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  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Here is the definition of yet: up until the present or a specified or implied time; by now or then.

    "By this time" has the right meaning but is not natural English in this context. "Before now" is not correct.
     

    Tenacious Learner

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    Hi Copyright,
    Thank for your help to rewrite the title of my thread, it certainly is much better.:)
    I think I'll choose 'by now'. It's meaning is quite clear.
    I just wanted to know if mine were correct or not, particularly 'before now'. I was wrong!:(

    TS
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Hi teachers,
    Could I consider 'by this time' and 'before now' synonyms for 'yet' in the following sentence?
    She hasn't finished her reports yet.

    Thanks in advance.
    The problem with before now, is that if you place it in your sentence, TS, it suggests that she has now finished her reports.

    She hasn't finished her reports yet means that the reports remain to be completed.
     

    Tenacious Learner

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    Hi Thomas,
    Thank you for your interest.

    She hasn't finished her reports yet.
    The problem with before now, is that if you place it in your sentence, TS, it suggests that she has now finished her reports.
    Does it? Hmm, I though that if I say before now, the reports really remain to be completed at the present time.
    Let me rephrase my explanation. That's the way I see it. Of course that is only an explanation. I will never insert that into a sentence.
    a) She hasn't finished her reports between an indefinite period of time in the past and now.
    b) She hasn't finished her reports between a short indefinite period of time in the past and now.

    Am I right?

    On the other hand, Michael Swam gives this definition:
    The indefinite time adverb 'yet' means at any time up to now.
    In MHO, I think it will be better to say at any time around the present up to now.

    Do you agree?
    TS
     
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    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Hi Thomas,
    Thank you for your interest.

    Does it? Hmm, I though that if I say before now, the reports really remain to be completed at the present time.
    Let me rephrase my explanation. That's the way I see it. Of course that is only an explanation. I will never insert that into a sentence.
    a) She hasn't finished her reports between an indefinite period of time in the past and now.
    b) She hasn't finished her reports between a short indefinite period of time in the past and now.

    Am I right?

    TS
    She hasn't finished her reports yet - the reports remain unfinished.
    She hasn't finished her reports before now - the strong suggestion is that she's just done them. A different tense would be much more usual (she hadn't or she didn't).
    She hasn't finished her reports until now - the strong suggestion is that she's just done them. A different tense would be much more usual (she hadn't or she didn't).
    She hasn't finished her reports up to now - the reports remain unfinished: this is probably the formula you want, TS, to express your a) She hasn't finished her reports between an indefinite period of time in the past and now.

    I can't think of another way to express your sentence b).
     
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