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  1. Junior Member
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    #1

    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. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    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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    #3

    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

  3. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    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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    #5

    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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    #6

    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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    #7

    Re: use of 'already'

    Quote Originally Posted by albeit View Post
    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.
    I don't accept The Independant (or any newspaper, though some are better than others) as any kind of authority on English language usage.

    I gather you have Raymond Murphy and some other books at your disposal. Why haven't you made reference to them?
    English Grammar in Use by Raymond Murphy, published in the UK by Cambridge University Press.
    Unit 110 Adverb placement: "some adverbs (for example always, also, probably) always go with the verb in the middle of the sentence."
    Unit 111 Still, yet and already: "still and already are usually used in the middle of a sentence (see unit 110), yet is usually used at the end of a sentence in modern English." There are some differences in American English usage.


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    #8

    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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    #9

    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?
    If the overwhelming majority of native speakers of English speak like that, it does indeed make it right. As for Google, it is not anyone's intention in this discussion to support almost anything, and Google does not support almost everything anyway. Adverb placement is just as flexible in the classroom as it is flexible among the billions of native speakers to whom adverb placement is flexible. Why should it not be?

    Certainly no one is suggesting here, or anywhere for that matter, that we teach that "everything is okay" because there are people who speak like that. We are, however, suggesting that what is correct and incorrect can be defined by how millions and billions of native English speakers use English. By the way, we first have to define what "like that" is and determine whether the estimated quantity of people who speak "like that" is significantly small or signifcanlty large, or somewhere in the middle.

    Placing strict limitations on adverb placement in or out of the classroom is to confuse tendencies with rules. Prescriptivist teaching such as this is far more likely to confuse students than more flexible descriptivist teaching, which is more practical, realistic, and flexible.

    Primary adverb placement is based on the strongest tendencies of native speakers, which is why secondary adverb placement sounds less usual and is less typical. However, there is no grammar rule which thoroughly defines all instances of secondary or flexible adverb placement as incorrect. If billions of native speakers use "already" at the end of a clause or a sentence, then it's correct. I'm one of those native speakers, by the way. While the Google search I posted only shows millions, I should note that my search was only for third person using one verb. If over four million returns come back for that search, then one could easily double or triple that by doing searches using other verbs and other pronouns - or even proper names. Furthermore, we can consider that not everyone posts and writes on the Internet. From the huge sampling we find on the Internet, it is logical to maintain that even a greater amount of people placing "already" at the end of a sentence or clause exists offline. These are, obviously, impossible to count or document in any way. They are simply part of the everyday dialog of billions of NESs.

    Onestopenglish | Grammar: frequency adverbs
    Last edited by PROESL; 27-Sep-2009 at 17:47.


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    #10

    Re: use of 'already'

    This excerpt, which contains a key statement, has application for both native speakers and non-native speakers of English. It may also serve to inform one's teaching of ESL or EFL.


    The rules people learn (or more likely, fail to learn) in school are called [prescriptive] rules, prescribing how one "ought" to talk. Scientists studying language propose [descriptive] rules, describing how people [do] talk -- the way to determine whether a construction is "grammatical" is to find people who speak the language and ask them. Prescriptive and descriptive grammar are completely different things, and there is a good reason that scientists focus on the descriptive rules.



    http://pinker.wjh.harvard.edu/articl...wrepublic.html

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