Different Meanings & Expressions with JÁ

In this post, you'll learn the different meanings and some expressions with the word já.

Students of Portuguese often get confused by the word  word, as it can have different meanings, depending on the context, and there are quite a few expressions with this word as well.

The word já can be translated as yet in questions:

- Você já jantou? / - Have you had dinner yet?

Also, in questions the word  can be translated as already, when you want to express surprise that something happened sooner than expected:

- Você já jantou? / - Have you had dinner already?

Now let's see some possible answers to this question. If the answer is yes, you can say:

- Sim, já jantei. - Yes, I've already had dinner.

Or you could say:

- Já, já jantei. - Yes, I've already had dinner.

or simply:

- Já.Yes. (Literally: ''Already'')

If the answer is no, you could say:

- Não. Ainda não jantei. - No. I haven't had dinner yet.

or simply:

- Ainda não. - Not yet. (Lit. ''Sill no'')

Here are some common expressions with the word :

1.  já que...

This can be translated as now that... or since... 

- Já que eu estou aqui, vou pedir uma cerveja! - Since/Now that I'm here I'm going to order a beer.


2. volto já

The word is also used to convey that something is going to happen very shortly/soon.

- Volto já!- I'll be right back! / I'll be back soon.

The verb voltar means ''to come back".

The order here can be flipped:

- Já volto! - I'll be right back! / I'll be back soon

Sometimes Brazilians will say the word  twice to reinforce its meaning:

- Volto já já!- I'll be right back!

3. já vou

Similarly, you can use the word  with the verb ir (to go):

- Já vou! / - I'll be right there!

4. é pra já

This can be translated as It'll do it straight away! or I'm on it! when someone asks you to do something.

- Você pode imprimir esse relatório pra mim, por favor?- Can you print this report for me, please?

- É pra já- I'm on it!

5. já era

This can be translated as It's over! or There's no more! or It's gone!

- Cadê o bolo que estava aqui? / - Where's the cake that was here?

- Já era! - Gone!

Categories: Expressions, Vocabulary