As a temporal adverb, I've always understood ещё to mean still. Therefore I don't understand its function in statements of the type:

Здание, в котором ещё вчера находились дети...

4 Answers 4


Same. In this particular sentence you would translate it ... only yesterday ... , but essentially the meaning is the same: yesterday they were still there. Although, there is a subtle difference in that it is вчера that is stressed, so only yesterday is a better fit.

  • ¿So by analogy one could say: Я уведел его ещё 15 минут назад.
    – CocoPop
    Aug 12, 2016 at 19:01
  • No, it should be Еще 15 минут назад я его видел...
    – V.V.
    Aug 12, 2016 at 20:15
  • 1
    @CocoPop, yes, it's legal (except: увидел) (I disagree with VV, his example has slightly different meaning). However, I must say it is probably better to think of ещё (in such cases) simply as an emphasis. Depending on what you wanted to express, it could mean "as recently as" or, quite the opposite, "as far back as". Look: Я видел его ещё 15 минут назад[, а теперь он пропал.] ("just 15 min") vs. Я увидел его ещё 15 минут назад[, а ты всё ещё не видишь!] ("15 min already"; note 2nd ещё (всё ещё) is a more regular "still").
    – Zeus
    Aug 13, 2016 at 8:59
  • 1
    @CocoPop in that sense, V.V's translation is correct (видел), but it would be as good without ещё: «(Он не в отпуске,) я видел его (у шефа) 15 минут назад.»
    – J-mster
    Aug 13, 2016 at 15:33
  • 1
    @CocoPop, that would be Я видел его всего/только 15 мин назад. I wouldn't use ещё in this case, though it doesn't sound too much out of place. The best explanation I can offer is that it's not clear what ещё emphasises in this sentence: so little or so much. Аs I said, it can do both, whereas всего/только unambiguously say just/only/not even/etc. On the other hand, the VV's version fits better to your case (than Я видел его ещё 15 мин назад), though it differs only by word order (even harder to explain why). But still, всего/только is more suitable. (And you certainly want видел, not увидел).
    – Zeus
    Aug 13, 2016 at 15:37

Вчера ещё в глаза глядел,

А нынче - всё косится в сторону!

Вчера ещё до птиц сидел, -

Все жаворонки нынче - вороны!

Марина Цветаева.

Only yesterday (the meaning is emphatic ( quite recently ) and often opposed to today's changed situation.


The word ещё can be used to emphasize something, so here it's almost the same as только вчера. You may even skip it without losing sense.


You can translate it this way:

The building where yesterday there were still some kids.

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