Monday, August 20, 2007

Is It That Time Already?

I've also been asked about the proper use of already. My cousin from Connecticut mentioned that he and some of his friends have noticed that Filipino-Americans seem to often use already, as in, "we ate there already" or "we've gone there already." Actually, these two examples are not wrong. I guess what is going on here is an overuse of the word. Let's look at already:

is really an expression of time. When you say "it's already 3 o' clock," you're either stating a fact or expressing impatience--"It's already 3pm and she's not here yet! How long will we be waiting?" If you say "we've already gone to the place," you're telling a friend that you've gone to a place he/she is planning to go to (you did it in the past). You could also say "are you leaving already?" If you say that, you mean, "why do you have to go so soon?"

"We ate there already" can be considered correct if there's a clear time in question: maybe the speaker's friend wants to eat in a restaurant for lunch and the speaker is saying "I ate there a few days ago."

So, if you want to use already, be sure to do so if there is a time issue: I have to stop blogging for the day, it's already time to sleep.

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