All Ready and Already

Commonly Confused Words

Women with luggage at airport, rear view
We are all ready to board the plane. Hitoshi Nishimura / Getty Images

Your spellchecker doesn't know the difference between the homophones all ready and already, but you should know the difference.

Definitions

The adjective phrase all ready (two words) means completely prepared.

The adverb already (one word) means previously or by this time.

Also see the usage notes below.

Examples

  • Our bags have already been inspected.​
  • We are all ready to board the plane.​
  • "They were already in the downtown area, and they were all ready to walk from bar to bar."
    (Gonzalo Celorio, And Let the Earth Tremble at Its Centers, trans. by Dick Gerdes. University of Texas Press, 2009).

    Usage Notes and Memory Tricks

    • "Already means 'before now' or 'before then': The game had already started by the time we got there.
      "Do not confuse already with all ready as two separate words: Are you all ready? (= Are all of you ready?)"
      (George Davidson, Penguin Writers' Guides: Improve Your Spelling. Penguin, 2005)
    • "LISTEN: Mentally say the sentence you are about to write. If you pause between all and ready, use two words, all ready.

      "VISUALIZE & CONNECT: Visualize runners ready to start a race. Think, 'All ready? All set? Go!'

      "VISUALIZE & CONNECT: Visualize yourself waiting for a friend and looking at your watch, distressed. Think, 'It's almost 8:00 and we're already late!'"
      (Nancy Ragno, Word Savvy: Use the Right Word Every Time, All The Time. Writer's Digest Books, 2011)

    Practice

    (a) The ballplayers have _____ taken batting practice.

    (b) The players are _____ to start the game.

    Answers to Practice Exercises

    (a) The ballplayers have already taken batting practice.

    (b) The players are all ready to start the game.

    Glossary of Usage: Index of Commonly Confused Words

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    Your Citation
    Nordquist, Richard. "All Ready and Already." ThoughtCo, Oct. 19, 2017, thoughtco.com/all-ready-and-already-1692708. Nordquist, Richard. (2017, October 19). All Ready and Already. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/all-ready-and-already-1692708 Nordquist, Richard. "All Ready and Already." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/all-ready-and-already-1692708 (accessed January 22, 2018).