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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread May 25th, 2015, 07:40 am
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Default Just or Already?

Hi everyone.My question is:Why's "already" was chosen over "just" in the following, according to a textbook I've read.Do the underlined words denote that "already" is preferred ? esp. when you surprise the person of something he/she didn't know.
1.Would you like to come to see the film with us? Thanks for asking,but I've already seen it.
2.Look at the noticeboard.There's an advert for English courses. I know, I've already seen it.
3.If you see John, can you ask him about tonight? He can come.I've already asked him.
(but/Iknow/He can come)
Plus, can I replace "seen" with "watched" in 2.Please I need some explanation.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread May 26th, 2015, 01:42 am
Join Date: Oct 8th, 2006
Location: Milan
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Default Re: Just or Already?

Just = a very short time ago
Already =Before now but at some undefined time.

So - in all these examples "just" would be possible if the speaker had done the action a couple of minutes earlier. In (1) it's unlikely but not impossible. In (2) and (3) it's perfectly possible. It would depend on when the speaker had seen the notice/spoken to John. If yesterday, then "already"; if a few minutes earlier then "just" is equally possible. So basically they're bad test items. To clarify the difference you'd need to specify the times - eg I know, I've already seen it. David put it up yesterday and showed it to me. vs I know, I've just seen it. I was in the office two minutes ago.

"watched" is possible in (2) but less likely. "see" conveys the idea of a completed action - which is appropriate here, while "watch" conveys the sense of an on-going action. Compare :

1. I've already seen that film three times. I don't want to see it again.
with :
2. Jean says there's a point in Lord of the Rings" where Gandalf says "Rubbish!" but I've seen/watched it three times and I still haven't noticed it.

In (1), the emphasis is on the completed action - so see is more likely. In (2) the speaker might want to convey an idea of the total length of time spent viewing the film - so might choose watch.

Last edited by susan53 : May 26th, 2015 at 04:44 am.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Unread May 26th, 2015, 08:15 am
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Default Re: Just or Already?

Thank you so much
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