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What is the correct word order between have/had, been, and already in statements like the following:

By the time the product was officially announced, I had already been using it.

Or:

By the time the product was officially announced, I had been already using it.

Or:

By the time the product was officially announced, I had been using it already.

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1 Answer 1

I think the first and third would be more common, and probably the first sounds a bit more natural than the third. The middle sentence ("I had been already using it...") would be fairly rare, I think, at least among UK speakers.

Note that "By the time that..." would be a bit more natural than "When" here.

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2  
That wasn't so convincing. Please give a reference to some authoritative source to verify your opinion. –  Daniel Dinnyes Mar 21 '11 at 1:31
    
Well, it's my observation as a native speaker with a couple of linguistics degrees; you can take it or leave it... –  Neil Coffey Mar 21 '11 at 6:01
    
The first and the third are indeed grammatically correct, but the second is plain wrong, not just in the UK. On the other hand, AFAIK, "in written English, emphasis is largely a matter of controlling the way a sentence ends. The last words of English sentences carry the strongest degree of emphasis", and it is exactly the case with this example. So I would say the third is the best. What do you think? –  Daniel Dinnyes Mar 30 '11 at 1:51
1  
Well, to my ear the 1st sentence is the most natural. To be honest, I see no basis for the statement that you quote. –  Neil Coffey Mar 30 '11 at 5:31

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