Clearly Confusing: Still vs Again



Mr M and I were having a lesson 2 weeks ago and I jotted down this mistake to share it with you.

He said: ” Most people are sleeping again at 5am. I was awake because I had to catch a flight.”

Now, Mr. M is Italian and the confusion is directly connected to his mother-tongue language. ‘Ancora’ in Italian can mean both still and again. It all depends on context.

In English, on the other hand, we use ‘still’ (adverb) when speaking about something that happened before now and continues in the present.  Note the position of the adverb in the sentence.

  • Most people are still sleeping at 5am.
  • We still have lots of work head of us.

We use ‘again‘ (adverb) when we mean one more time or to be done again. Again, note the position of the adverb.

  • She called me again.
  • it was nice to see my old friends again.

The above explains the use of ‘Ancora’ for Italians but these words can also be used in other instances.

Here are a few examples for your information:

  • He can still come to the party  even if he doesn’t know her. (i.e. in spite of)
  • Stand still! I am trying to take a picture. (i.e. without moving)
  • Then again, he might be right. (i.e. to show a change in my thoughts/opinion-in Italian ‘ripensandoci’)
  • Again, we need to solve this issue. (i.e. I repeat and stress something previously said)

There are other uses and expressions I could have mentioned but I wanted to keep it simple.

Has it made you aware of a mistake you sometimes make?


3 thoughts on “Clearly Confusing: Still vs Again

  1. Pingback: Start flying in Italian, sort of | My Five Romances

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