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  1. #1
    wotcha22 is offline Junior Member
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    Default 'already' in a question.

    1. Have you finished your homework,yet?

    2. Have you already finished your homework?


    Are the both grammatical?

    If then how are they different in meaning?

  2. #2
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    probus is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: 'already' in a question.

    They are both grammatical and very nearly identical in meaning. But I don't like the comma in 1.

    I would prefer 2 if I knew that the person was not currently working on homework.

    I would probably prefer 1 if I did not know whether the person was currently doing homework.

  3. #3
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    tzfujimino is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: 'already' in a question.

    Hello.
    May I ask a question here?

    I have always taught my students that #2 is used to express surprise and that #1 and #2 don't mean the same thing.
    I'm surprised to know that #1 and #2 are almost identical in meaning.

    Now, is it OK to teach them that "#1 and #2 are almost the same, but #2 is often used to express surprise"?

    Thank you.

  4. #4
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    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: 'already' in a question.

    Quote Originally Posted by tzfujimino View Post
    Hello.
    May I ask a question here?

    I have always taught my students that #2 is used to express surprise and that #1 and #2 don't mean the same thing.
    I'm surprised to know that #1 and #2 are almost identical in meaning.

    Now, is it OK to teach them that "#1 and #2 are almost the same, but #2 is often used to express surprise"?

    Thank you.
    Yes, you can teach them that. There are also contextual differences.
    The basic meaning is "Have you finished your homework?" We can all agree on that. Whatever adverbials you want to add depends on what else you want to communicate.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 'already' in a question.

    I agree that "yet" suggests you think they should be finished by now, or very soon, while "already" expresses surprise that the action is completed so soon.

    I also agree that the comma does not belong before "yet" in your first sentence.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: 'already' in a question.

    I would put already at the end to show surprise:
    Have you finished your homework already?

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