Word Confusion: All Ready versus Already

Posted October 2, 2014 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Editing, Self-Editing, Word Confusions, Writing

I do see this in stories, and while the two words don’t sound that different, there is a huge difference in meaning. So, this post is all ready to be read, as I am suffering enough already from the word confusion! Poor me…lol…

Consider the following:
The sink is OK. I’ve all ready fixed it.

Um, now I’m confused. He’s completely prepared? Completely REpaired maybe…?

The sink is OK. I’ve already fixed it.

He fixed it earlier! Stop nagging.

It was early but they were all ready partying.

Um, completely prepared to party?

It was early, but they were already partying.

It may be earlier than they had planned to party, but they went ahead and started anyway.

Are we all ready to go?

Sounds like Mom or Dad wanting to know if all the kids are ready to head out.

Are we already to go?

This sounds contradictory. If “already” indicates something that’s started happening earlier, then how can we not have gone by now?

The gym is all ready decorated for the dance.

In some ways, this actually makes sense until you try out Grammar-Monster‘s tip to remove the “all” and see if it still makes sense. So if we try this tip, “The gym is ready decorated…” nope, doesn’t make any sense.

The gym is already decorated for the dance.

No one needs to worry about the gym’s decorations since it has been decorated.

Word Confusions…

…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end.

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All Ready Already
Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com; Free Dictionary: all ready

“All Ready for the Picnic” by Belle Johnson (photographer) is in the public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

A type of German Christmas pastry

Image by Alexander Klink [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Already being enjoyed in the Middle Ages, Frankfurter Brenten are traditional Christmas pastries from Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

Part of Grammar:
Adjective Phrase: Adverb + Adjective Adverb 1 and 2
Completely prepared Describe something that has happened before a certain time

Before or by now or the time in question

  • As surprisingly soon or early as this

[Informal] Used as an intensive after a word or phrase to express impatience

Then he cut his leather out, all ready to make up the next day, meaning to rise early in the morning to his work. –Fairy Tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

Joan is all ready with her handouts.

As soon as I put my coat on, I’ll be all ready.

Is everything all ready?

Everyone is all ready to go on.

I’ve already got my coat.

Anna has suffered a great deal already.

At 31, he already suffers from arthritis.

Already it was past four o’ clock.

Enough already with these crazy kids and their wacky dances!

Stop already!

History of the Word:
First known use: 1580 1 Middle English from all + ready

2 Influenced by Yiddish use

C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves?

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Pinterest Photo Credits:

Preparing to Attack” by Capt. John Farmer, 21 June 2014, is in the public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

A soldier from Company A, 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division sets his place in the support-by-fire position during squad live fire certification training at Grafenwoehr Training area, Germany.