Grammar Already vs. All Ready: Do You Know the Difference? |
The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation

Already vs. All Ready: Do You Know the Difference?

Do you ever have a hard time separating the one-word already from the phrase all ready?

These words sound the same when spoken aloud unless you conscientiously emphasize the pause between them. Given that, it’s easy to see why people might confuse them. In today’s post we’ll look at the differences so you can use each word correctly.

The Difference Between Already and All Ready

While they might sound the same, already and all ready actually have separate meanings.

Already, as a single word, is an adverb. It means “by a certain time” or “so soon.” Here are a few examples of already being properly used:

I can’t believe it’s already time for lunch.

Sarah ran to her gate, but her flight had already departed.

I ordered a package last night, and it was already delivered this morning.

Conversely, the two-word phrase all ready means “fully prepared”:

My vacation is next week, but I’m still all ready to leave.

It’s always good to double-check with children that they are all ready for school before they leave the house.

Although the pronunciation of already and all ready is the same, their different spellings and meanings should make it easy for you to use them correctly with a little bit of practice. If you still ever find yourself uncertain, we have a simple rule of thumb you can follow.

Tip for Keeping Already and All Ready Clear

If you wrestle with using already and all ready in the right contexts, simply associate the “ready” in all ready with “prepared”:

I am all ready for my presentation to the board on Tuesday.

You write the same sentence as:

I am ready for my presentation to the board on Tuesday. OR

I am prepared for my presentation to the board on Tuesday.

To reinforce that idea, note too that we could not write that sentence by substituting the “so soon” or “before now” meaning of already.

I am so soon for my presentation to the board on Tuesday.

I am before now for my presentation to the board on Tuesday.

All Ready and Already

All ready means that everything or everyone is now ready.

Already refers to something accomplished earlier: We already ate.
 

Pop Quiz

Choose the proper use of already or all ready in each sentence.

1. The football team is [all ready / already] for the showdown with their rival school.

2. Sometimes it feels like I’m just settling into the weekend, and then it’s Monday [all ready / already].

3. Are you [all ready / already] for the marathon after a year of training?

4. It’s hard to believe they are [all ready / already] getting married when they just met last month.

5. My sister graduated just last year, but she has [all ready / already] gotten a promotion at her first job.

 

Pop Quiz Answers

1. The football team is all ready for the showdown with their rival school.

2. Sometimes it feels like I’m just settling into the weekend, and then it’s Monday already.

3. Are you all ready for the marathon after a year of training?

4. It’s hard to believe they are already getting married when they just met last month.

5. My sister graduated just last year, but she has already gotten a promotion at her first job.

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