I'm not sure if this question is too broad, but I'll give it a try.

Noticing how "yet"/"still" is the same word as "again", that is, "encore", I get the feeling I will stumble with some ambiguities in the long run (right now I can't think of any, though).

Have you run into any ambiguities using this word? Is there a guideline of some sort to make the distinction?

  • 2
    As it stand your question is more focused on the difference between "yet" and "again" than on the use of encore in French. Since encore can sometimes be expressed in English by "yet" (period of time, as in "not yet") or "again" (as in "once more") but also by other things (even, still, etc.), in my opinion it might be better to look at your question from another angle. You might want to focus on what you want to express, including the word encore in a French sentence and asking if you are using it properly.
    – None
    Nov 18 '19 at 9:24
  • For what it's worth, it's never (should I say "rarely" just in case?) ambiguous for French people. Now I know it's ambiguous for foreigners, and it exists in other languages too, it seems the use of a negation is often one of the reasons for the meaning of this small words to change. I didn't even notice until now that in English, it seems pretty straightforward. And there is a similar problem with toujours btw.
    – Destal
    Nov 18 '19 at 15:30
  • I've been thinking about my question a lot and realized that in Spanish we usually use the same word for "now" and "already" and it's never a problem, we can always tell by the context.
    – JD Gamboa
    Nov 28 '19 at 19:56
  • @Destal What about these examples "You're still here?" and "You're here again?"
    – JD Gamboa
    Mar 20 '20 at 18:36
  • @JDGamboa I would naturally say "tu es encore ici ?" for both, but I would rephrase the second one to avoid it being understood as "still", like "tu es encore venu ici ?" ("Did you come here again?"), or even replacing "encore" with "de nouveau": "tu es de nouveau ici ?" which is not ambiguous anymore. So I was wrong saying it's never ambiguous, I was thinking of when the negation changes the meaning.
    – Destal
    Mar 22 '20 at 0:10

Although this word has many meanings, the context will always be clear enough to know what was expected.

Here are some exemples I regrouped from CNRTL :

  • Yet/still (il est encore temps)

  • Again (il est encore en retard)

  • Even (C'est encore pire que ce que j'imaginais)

  • ??? (encore faut-t-il comprendre)

  • ??? (et encore, (...) ça passe encore)

Yet, this is not a problem to determine what meaning it has, in each context.

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