Already vs. All Ready – Pick the Correct Word
Already or all ready—they’re pretty much same thing, right? Wrong! Unlike other words like altogether, which is always one word, already is its own word and is completely unrelated to all ready.
Short and Sweet: Already vs. All Ready
Already is an adverb, while all ready is a pair of adjectives.
- Already means something has happened prior to another event, or prior to now.
- All ready means completely prepared.
Continue reading for further discussion of already and all ready. To help you with your future writing, also included is a way to remember the difference between the two.
What Does Already Mean?
Meaning of Already: Already is an adverb, and it is used to communicate a few different things. Generally, already means that something has happened in the past, with added emphasis to how that event affects the future.
- I already knew that, you didn’t have to tell me again.
- I knew that prior to you telling me.
- Have you already gone to the store, or can I add something to the shopping list?
- Have you gone to the store before now, or can I add something to the shopping list for when you go in the future?
- We can’t cancel the event now, we’ve already sent out invitations.
- We have sent out invitations prior to now, which affects our ability to cancel the event now.
Another use of already is to emphasize how soon something has happened.
- You’re already here? I didn’t expect you for another hour!
- We just put in the work order yesterday, and they’ve already got it fixed!
- I can’t believe it’s already time to go.
Finally, already can be used as an intensive, as in, “All right already!” or, “Enough already!”
What Does All Ready Mean?
Meaning of All Ready: All ready, on the other hand, is two words. All and ready are both adjectives, and both are frequently used in their own separate contexts.
- All means entire.
- Ready means prepared.
- Combined, all ready means entirely prepared.
All can indicate that a whole group of people are ready or that a complete set of items is prepared.
- Once the audience is all ready, we can start the show.
- Everything is clean, the table is laid, and the roast is in the oven; the house is all ready for when our guests arrive.
The all in all ready can also mean one person or thing is “completely ready.”
- I’m all ready for my first day of school!
- Is the project all ready to submit?
This difference in the meaning of all is subtle. The important thing to take away is that all ready is a pair of adjectives that mean everything is completely prepared.
All Ready vs. Already: How to Remember the Difference
When determining whether to use all ready or already, remember that all means “entire.” Therefore, all ready means the entire group is entirely ready.
Already is one word, like altogether. Already is an altogether different word. It means that something has happened prior to another time, such as the present.
Recap: When to Use Already and All Ready
Use already to describe an event that has happened before something else, to communicate how soon something has happened, or as an intensifier.
Use all ready when a whole group is completely ready.