'Yet' used as a short answer: Is it possible?

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Hello everyone,


The word "yet" is used to mean ''that something hasn't happened until the moment of speaking''. For example, "I don't know the story yet" means ''that until the moment I say this sentence I don't know the story.''

My question is: Is it correct/natural to use "yet" as a short answer? Please take a look at the context.

John: Mike can't participate today. He doesn't know any of the rules.
Mary: Yet
John: Ok. But he'll have to work hard to learn all of them.


Meaning intended: he doesn't know any of the rules yet. But he will.


Thank you in advance!
 
  • Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Your conversation is normal in casual English, however "yet" is not an answer - there is no question. Mary is offering/suggesting a correction to John's statement.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    It is a remark, comment, or response; the type is a laconism; an answer would answer a question.
     

    lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    You want to say that "yet" is a response, not an "answer."

    Answers follow questions in English. Responses follow anything: questions, statements, exclamations, responses, etc. (Your language might not differentiate between these two words.)
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    In fairness, the OED
    4. a. A reply to an appeal, address, remark, letter, etc.; anything said or written in reference to, or acknowledgement of, what another has said or written; a response, rejoinder. 1771 Junius Lett. liv. 281 His letter to me does not deserve an answer.
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    The word 'answer' does not seem to be the crux of the original question.
    Xavier da Silva, if I understand correctly, would like to know whether 'yet' can properly function as a one-word response or rejoinder in the manner indicated in the example.

    The answer is 'Yes', but be it noted that it depends upon a negative context. In other words, it is really short for 'not yet' and in the example given the 'not' is understood from the preceding sentence.

    John is saying that Mike does not know any of the rules. Mary is correcting 'not' to 'not yet'.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Pondering on Xavier's question, I think that I would distinguish between:
    John: Mike can't participate today. He doesn't know any of the rules.
    Mary:
    ... yet.

    and
    John: Mike can't participate today. He doesn't know any of the rules.
    Mary:
    Not yet.

    In the blue conversation, I'd say that Mary was completing John's thought, rather than answering him. In the red conversation, I'd say that Mary was answering John.

    So my personal reaction is "No - you can't use 'Yet' as a short answer to a question/statement".
     

    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Pondering on Xavier's question, I think that I would distinguish between:
    John: Mike can't participate today. He doesn't know any of the rules.
    Mary:
    ... yet.

    and
    John: Mike can't participate today. He doesn't know any of the rules.
    Mary:
    Not yet.

    In the blue conversation, I'd say that Mary was completing John's thought, rather than answering him. In the red conversation, I'd say that Mary was answering John.

    So my personal reaction is "No - you can't use 'Yet' as a short answer to a question/statement".
    :):thumbsup:
    Having read through the thread I was about to say almost exactly this.

    Maybe I would disagree slightly. Rather than completing his thought, she was modifying/editing his thought. The simple addition of one word changed the meaning to accord with her own view.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    [...] Rather than completing his thought, she was modifying/editing his thought. The simple addition of one word changed the meaning to accord with her own view.
    Yes, I think that's a better way of putting it, Biffo:).

    (I think wandle is saying the same thing in post 12...)
     
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