“So they haven't filed for a divorce yet?”
You're gossiping with your friend about someone you know who's recently split up with his wife. Your friend said that they were "separated", so it makes you think that they haven't gotten a legal divorce yet. You ask this to check to see if you're correct.
So they haven't filed for a divorce yet?
Start a question with "So..." when you want to check whether you understand something. You say "so" and then say what you understand. Some examples include:
So Edgar is being promoted?
So I take a left at the next light and then take the third right after that?
Notice that these are in a statement form, not a question form. The question form would be:
Is Edgar being promoted?
Instead of putting it in question form, you start with "so" and use rising question intonation at the end of the sentence. If you ask in this way, the listener will understand that you're trying to check what you know.
In the example at top, the speaker thinks that they haven't filed for a divorce because there's a difference between separating from your husband or wife and getting a divorce. Separating is something that the couple decides and does on their own. A divorce is a legal process. So if you hear that someone "separated" from his wife, you might think that they haven't been legally divorced yet.
"Yet" means "before now" but we only use it with negative sentences and questions:
I haven't finished it yet.
Have you seen it yet?
When people use the word "yet", it usually goes with the perfect form of a verb, like "has done", "has been", "has ___en", and so on.
They haven't started yet, have they?
Have any of you bought one of the new iPhones yet?
In very casual English, people sometimes use the simple past:
Did you buy an iPhone yet?
But a lot of English speakers don't speak this way, and it wouldn't be considered correct grammar in written English.
To "file for" a divorce means to submit the legal paperwork that's needed to get divorced.
There are other legal situations that you have to "file for". Many of these situations have specialized legal names that you don't need to remember unless you're going to be a lawyer. But some common ones are:
- file for bankruptcy
- file for unemployment ("unemployment benefits" are money you get from the government when you don't have a job)
- file for a patent (a protection for the person who invents something new, so that other people can't copy it and sell it)