Ending sentences with 'yet'?

The guy who gives traffic reports on our local NPR affiliate seems to end every other sentence with ‘yet’, or include it in his sentences. ‘Traffic is slow getting into Seattle yet, due to wet roads.’ ‘There’s a collision, so your trip to Seattle is still going to take about 45 minutes yet.’

He’s from Seattle, but he’s the only one I’ve heard that uses this construction. Is using ‘yet’ in this way common anywhere?

“Yet” means “still”. The trip is going to take 45 minutes yet. (Don’t think he should use “still” and “yet” both for the same purpose, which is stupid dumb).

‘Still’ and ‘yet’ almost seem like bookends in that construction. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are used quite consistently together like that.

It’s possible that he didn’t say ‘still’. I thought he had when I posted, but I’ve no way to confirm.

Nevertheless, using ‘yet’ as frequently as this radio guy does is a construction I’m not familiar with. I’m familiar with ‘Are we there yet?’ or ‘I’m not done yet.’ In my life I’ve heard ‘We have a way to go yet,’ which is like what he’s saying; but using ‘yet’ repeatedly over several sentences seems like it must come from somewhere.

My paternal grandparents learned a Swiss dialect of German as their first language. Adding ‘yet’ to the end of a sentence was something I heard a lot. I can remember Grandma saying things like “I checked the cookies in the oven to see if they were done yet.” Or Grandpa saying “I threw the paper toward the trashcan and thought it might go in yet.”

Seems like it could be a German dialect thing, but I have no idea what an actual German equivalence would be.

The first sounds completely natural to me as a Midwesterner with no know German Swiss relations. The second sounds a bit awkward.

That was my thought as well. German class was a long time ago, but I believe “jetz” is used that way, with the “j” pronounced similarly to English “y”.

Paging @Schnitte and @EinsteinsHund !

My mother-in-law uses this construction. “Yet,” for me growing up, was not a synonym for “still” but rather meant “have they begun doing this thing.” Like “are you eating yet?” means “have you started to eat?” But the construction she uses it means “still.” Like, “Are the kids in school yet” would mean “are the kids still in school” not “have the kids arrived to school?”

I can’t think of any German dialect where this is the case, but note that “jetzt” means “now”, whereas yet and still are mostly best translated as “noch”. Though I don’t know of any German constructions that end sentences regularly with “noch”. But if it comes to Swiss German, I’m out, this is almost a language of itself, and I can mostly understand Dutch even better than Swiss German.

ETA: Yes, yet is ambiguous, and it always used to confuse me, because in German it can mean “noch” as well as “schon”, where “noch” means still and “schon” means already. Like in “Are we done yet?”

The first time I encountered that use of “yet” was in a magazine article in Games magazine (maybe about Penn & Teller?) that mentioned a type of deliberately mangled pun called a “Secret Yet”. (I.e., saying “Where he made his liquor is a secret yet” instead of the punny “Where he made his liquor is a secret still”)


I have not heard anyone using this. At least not yet.


ETA: Smartassness aside, my mother in law used to end sentences with “yet”.

I’m trying to think of a good example but I cannot.

Here’s a page talking about the various uses of the term “yet” in the English language.

There are lots of ways that the word is used and every example is familiar to me.

The third usage on that page is what the quotes in the OP are doing.

Place “yet” in a sentence to show a situation or event is ongoing. “Yet” is used in a sentence if you want to let others know that you are still in a situation and it is going to continue in the near future. You can use “yet” in positive statements in the present to let others know that a situation or event in the present is not finished yet.

  • For example, you may say, “I have a lot more work yet,” to let others know your work is not finished.
  • You may say, “There is a lot more time yet,” to tell others that there is still time in the present to complete a task or activity.

Maybe it’s something specific to a Seattle dialect?

I guarantee you that using “yet” every other sentence isn’t a Seattle thing; I’ve lived in the Seattle area most of my life.

That particular usage of the word isn’t unusual, as shown in the link I provided. The only thing unusual is the frequency of its use, and I’m pretty sure that’s a specific idiosyncrasy of the speaker.

I would’ve absolutely sworn I posted the same question here like a decade ago, except it was about two of my coworkers from Wisconsin, but apparently that was the other message board I used to post to.

In any case, I worked with two different guys from upstate Wisconsin who both ended a lot of sentences with “yet”. My vague recollection of the resolution of that thread, however, was that nobody knew what I was talking about.

ETA though the difference between a decade ago and now that there’s a lot more stuff on the Internet.

Around here, yet often means “still.” One of the best sentences to a Wisconsinite’s ear is, “We’ve got some Spotted Cow yet, yous want to come by or no?”

Yep, that conforms with my observation of my Chippewa Falls Wisconsin born-and-bred mother-in-law.

Nice! Only 90 minutes away from Wausau, which is where my two coworkers were from.

Both of those examples make sense to me.

I agree. I’ve often been confused (and to some extent still am, occasionally) about the correct usage of “yet” and “still” in English. The German equivalents are “noch” and “schon”, but they don’t map perfectly; either of the German words can be translated into either of the English ones, depending on the sentence (and to make things worse, “schon” will often best be translated as “already”, so there would be three words to choose from). In the two sentences quoted by Railer13, I would, in German, instinctively use “schon” in the first and “noch” in the second:

  • "I checked the cookies in the oven to see if they were done yet.” = “Ich habe bei den Plätzchen im Ofen nachgeschaut, um zu sehen, ob sie schon fertig sind.”
  • “I threw the paper toward the trashcan and thought it might go in yet.” = “Ich habe das Papier Richtung Mülleimer geworfen und dachte, dass es noch reingehen könnte.”

My point is, it might be that the native German speakers who said those English sentences might have been similarly confused as I am about when to use “yet”, “still” and possibly “already” and simply decided to settle for “yet” in most such situations.

I doubt there’s a connection to German “jetzt”. According to Wiktionary, English “yet” and German “jetzt” are etymologically related, but their usages differ, and I don’t think it’s likelya native German speaker with a decent command of English would confuse the two. Plus, I’m not aware of any German dialect where “jetzt” is a widely used filler word.

I have a feeling the usage may come from Yiddish rather than German.