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  1. #1
    hznaeem is offline Junior Member
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    Question use of 'already'

    which one can be more correct or any of them is incorrect?
    "i have done it already" or "i have already done it"

    or "i finished my work already" or "i already finished my work"

    views welcome. Thanks.

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: use of 'already'

    Quote Originally Posted by hznaeem View Post
    which one can be more correct or any of them is incorrect?
    "i have done it already" or "i have already done it"

    or "i finished my work already" or "i already finished my work"

    views welcome. Thanks.
    "I have already finished my work." "I have already done it." These are correct in BrE. You might get a response from an American saying that they are all OK, if you do it's up to you to decide which you prefer.

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    Default Re: use of 'already'

    Quote Originally Posted by hznaeem View Post
    which one can be more correct or any of them is incorrect?
    "i have done it already" or "i have already done it"

    or "i finished my work already" or "i already finished my work"

    views welcome. Thanks.
    Okay, here's the American response . Yes, they're all okay. Regarding "already", adverb placement is flexible, though adverbs do tend to have primary placement and secondary placement. Native speakers take more liberty with adverb placement, it seems to me, in spoken language.

    Regarding the use of "already" with the simple past, yes, it's okay to do that. In American English, people use "already" with the simple past. Not that citing a book is necessary, but I believe that there is a note stating that it's okay to use "already" and "yet" with the simple past in Grammar in Use by Raymond Murphy. Of course, this is the American version of Grammar in Use. There's a British one as well, which I believe is the original because I think the book was first published in Britain.

    There are Americans with more conservative or traditional viewpoints of language that will agree only with the British usage of "already" and "yet". However, it's important to understand that in the US this usage of "already" and "yet" is common. It's important to understand this so that you're not confused by those Americans who may simply say "it's wrong" or "it's right" without providing further explanation.

    Generally speaking, "already" and "yet" indicate "time up unitl now", but as it is common to use them with the simple past (the simple past does not indicate "time up until now") in conversation and informal writing, it seems that these two words are taking on additional meaning or have already taken on additional meaning.

    I would say it's up to learners to draw their own conclusions with this sort of question. I would not accept an American answer presented as absolutely right or wrong to this question. But keep in mind that this is common usage in conversation and in writing that is less formal sounding.
    Last edited by PROESL; 23-Sep-2009 at 17:48.

  4. #4
    bhaisahab's Avatar
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    Default Re: use of 'already'

    Quote Originally Posted by PROESL View Post
    Regarding the use of "already" with the simple past, yes, it's okay to do that. In American English, people use "already" with the simple past. Not that citing a book is necessary, but I believe that there is a note stating that it's okay to use "already" and "yet" with the simple past in Grammar in Use by Raymond Murphy. Of course, this is the American version of Grammar in Use. There's a British one as well, which I believe is the original because I think the book was first published in Britain.
    Yes, the British edition is the original, it's published by Cambridge University Press, and interestingly the British edition states the opposite.

  5. #5
    albeit is offline Banned
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    Default Re: use of 'already'

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    "I have already finished my work." "I have already done it." These are correct in BrE. You might get a response from an American saying that they are all OK, if you do it's up to you to decide which you prefer.
    Of course they're correct in BrE, Bhaisahab, they're correct in AmE, CdE, AuE, NzE, but what does saying 'they're correct" really tell anyone.

    It seems highly implausible that the more emphatic placements of adverbs should be unavailable to speakers of BrE.

    I don't believe that this is a matter of preference. This type of preference is not the driving force behind language. Adverb placement is quite flexible in English and changing that placement can even change the meaning of a sentence. Again, it seems extremely odd that this choice would be unavailable to speakers of BrE?

    The normal neutral position is as has been described but it is my considered opinion that that does not preclude other placements for BrE.


    ================

    Google exact phrase search - UK region only

    "I have already finished my work." "I have already done it."

    Results 1 - 10 of about 308,000 English pages for "already done it".

    Results 1 - 10 of about 339,000 English pages for "done it already".

    Results 1 - 10 of about 42,700 English pages for "have already finished".

    Results 1 - 10 of about 1,820 English pages for "have finished already".

    =================

    Here's one, from The Independent no less, clearly illustrating an emphatic placement of 'already', underlined below.

    Have you done your homework?

    It's a more and more important part of a child's education. But what is the best way for a parent to help at home - and to avoid being a hindrance, asks Hilary Wilce

    Hilary Wilce


    If you find yourself saying: "Turn that off!" or "You can't have finished already!" or "Is that really the best you can do?" then you are probably the parent of a homework-aged child. If not - you soon could be.

    Have you done your homework? - Education News, Education - The Independent

  6. #6
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: use of 'already'

    Quote Originally Posted by albeit View Post
    Of course they're correct in BrE, Bhaisahab, they're correct in AmE, CdE, AuE, NzE, but what does saying 'they're correct" really tell anyone.

    It seems highly implausible that the more emphatic placements of adverbs should be unavailable to speakers of BrE.

    I don't believe that this is a matter of preference. This type of preference is not the driving force behind language. Adverb placement is quite flexible in English and changing that placement can even change the meaning of a sentence. Again, it seems extremely odd that this choice would be unavailable to speakers of BrE?

    The normal neutral position is as has been described but it is my considered opinion that that does not preclude other placements for BrE.


    ================

    Google exact phrase search - UK region only

    "I have already finished my work." "I have already done it."

    Results 1 - 10 of about 308,000 English pages for "already done it".

    Results 1 - 10 of about 339,000 English pages for "done it already".

    Results 1 - 10 of about 42,700 English pages for "have already finished".

    Results 1 - 10 of about 1,820 English pages for "have finished already".

    =================

    Here's one, from The Independent no less, clearly illustrating an emphatic placement of 'already', underlined below.
    Yes I know, you will find lots of pages on google to support almost anything, and of course I know that there are a lot of people who speak like that. Nevertheless, it doesn't make it right, maybe it makes it acceptable in certain circumstances, though probably not in the classroom. What should we teach? Should we teach that everything is ok because there are people who speak like that, or should we teach the correct way and when the students encounter something different, explain that it is non-standard but could be acceptable in everyday life?

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    albeit is offline Banned
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    Default Re: use of 'already'

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Yes I know, you will find lots of pages on google to support almost anything, and of course I know that there are a lot of people who speak like that. Nevertheless, it doesn't make it right, maybe it makes it acceptable in certain circumstances, though probably not in the classroom. What should we teach? Should we teach that everything is ok because there are people who speak like that, or should we teach the correct way and when the students encounter something different, explain that it is non-standard but could be acceptable in everyday life?

    The one example I specifically cited, that you've specifically ignored was from The Independent. It clearly showed that speakers of BrE also adjust adverbs to effect different nuances, to express different emotive feelings.

    You haven't explained how it is wrong/incorrect/ungrammatical, Bahaisahab. All you done is offer some conjecture, "probably not in the classroom"; "it doesn't make it right".

    There are very good reasons why certain collocations are not as commonly found in the classroom or at a formal dinner party or at a soccer game or at high tea or in a speech but they have nothing to do with correctness.

    No, we don't teach that everything is ok. [isn't 'ok' a little bit informal for this classroom? Does that make it wrong?] We teach students learning English the same way we teach any student, with the truth.

    First, these different adverb placements are NOT non-standard. Secondly, language use that goes on in everyday life is not incorrect. There's not this one high standard that we must all follow for every language situation and if we don't we find we aren't using language correctly. That's preposterous!

    I gather you have Raymond Murphy and some other books at your disposal. Why haven't you made reference to them?

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    Smile Re: use of 'already'

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Yes I know, you will find lots of pages on google to support almost anything, and of course I know that there are a lot of people who speak like that. Nevertheless, it doesn't make it right, maybe it makes it acceptable in certain circumstances, though probably not in the classroom. What should we teach? Should we teach that everything is ok because there are people who speak like that, or should we teach the correct way and when the students encounter something different, explain that it is non-standard but could be acceptable in everyday life?
    I can appreciate that not everyone feels the same way about this. However, I believe in providing an explanation about the reality of native speaker usage in such topics as this without waiting for students to encounter such things and then bring a question to class or to a lesson. Time may pass and students may not have a place to bring such questions. ESL-EFL classes don't go on forever for most ELLs. As far as asking other native speakers that are not ESL-EFL teachers, not many native speakers would be disposed or inclined to provide an explanation one way or the other, as I see it.

    From the perspective of US English, I think my reply to this learner's question is well balanced, practical, and logical. I'm not saying that I think others in this discussion may not think so as well, but I just thought I'd mention it in advance in case there is one who does not think so. Now I don't have to post this comment later because I already have. Or maybe I already did?


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    Default Re: use of 'already'

    Quote Originally Posted by albeit View Post
    There are very good reasons why certain collocations are not as commonly found in the classroom or at a formal dinner party or at a soccer game or at high tea or in a speech but they have nothing to do with correctness.
    Collocation, alb, refers to words that often and typically go together. It's really not a concept that applies to adverb placement. I wouldn't equate adverb placement with collocation. They're two different things, alb.


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    albeit is offline Banned
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    Default Re: use of 'already'

    Quote Originally Posted by PROESL View Post
    Collocation, alb, refers to words that often and typically go together. It's really not a concept that applies to adverb placement. I wouldn't equate adverb placement with collocation. They're two different things, alb.

    No, it doesn't always mean words that often and typically go together, Pro.

    ========================

    Main Entry: col·lo·ca·tion
    Pronunciation: \ˌkä-lə-ˈkā-shən\
    Function: noun
    Date: 1605
    : the act or result of placing or arranging together; specifically : a noticeable arrangement or conjoining of linguistic elements (as words)

    ================

    transitive verb
    : to set or arrange in a place or position; especially : to set side by side
    intransitive verb
    : to occur in conjunction with something

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