Using correctly the adverbs Già & Ancora

Già has two different primary meanings.

The most common one is when già is used with the sense of already.

Often used with the passato prossimo, già is always placed between the auxiliary verb and the past participle

Hai già fatto colazione? Have you already had breakfast?

Sono già stato in Italia. I have already been to Italy.

However, già comes with the second meaning adding a feeling of resignation to the expression ‘of course..’

A : Dovresti smettere di fumare…B: Già…  A: You should quit smoking! B: Of course…


Ancora has several meanings in Italian

The one that many of you might already know is still, implying the idea that the action described by the verb has been carried out until now.

Stai ancora dormendo?  Are you still sleeping?


Also, Italians use ancora when they mean doing something again

In this case, the adverb can be replaced by the synonyms di nuovo, nuovamente

Fallo ancora! Do it again!

Prova ancora! Try it again!


When ancora is coming with the negative adverb non it means not yetNotice the position of the adverbs with the passato prossimo

Non ho ancora mangiato oggi. I haven’t eaten yet today.

Non sono ancora stato in Italia. I haven’t been to Italy yet


When Italians mean to add a quantity of something to something else, some more, (e.g. more coffee more sugar, more salt, more days off, etc…they would use ancora (and NOT più)

Voglio rimanere qui ancora due giorni. I want to stay here two more days.

Vuoi ancora caffé? Do you want more coffee?


Lastly, Italians use ancora followed by più o meno when they mean ‘even more (or less)

Oggi fa ancora più freddo di ieri. Today is even colder than yesterday


In short

Già in Italian mean

Of course

Ancora in Italian mean

Some more