I have to improve my English, and I live in the USA.
I am confused with using past perfect and past simple after "already".
Is past simple correct after "already"?
I know, some people say it, but is this correct to say and write at work or university?


1 Answer 1


“Already” is usually used with the (1) Present Perfect and (2) Past Perfect. However, we can also use “already” with the (3) Simple Present, (4) Present Continuous and (5) Simple Past Tense.


  1. Have you already registered?
  2. She had already read the news.
  3. I already miss you.
  4. We are already working on it.
  5. They already left the city.

[EnglishStudyPage, adjusted.]

I'd add the caveats that

(a) using the simple present will involve a continuing state or iterative process, not a punctive event

  • I already take vitamin supplements.
  • *I already take the penalty.

(b) especially in the UK, the simple past is far less commonly used than the present perfect for a completed action / event

  • They have already eaten / arrived / gone home.

  • ?/??/*They already ate / arrived / went home.

  • He'd only been gone two days, and I missed him already. [ongoing state]

  • ?? I already missed the last post. [referencing a {notionally} fixed point in time]

  • Thank you for your answer. And it's grammatically correct to use (3) Simple Present, (4) Present Continuous, and (5) Simple Past Tense?
    – Tetiana
    Oct 19, 2021 at 16:46
  • I heard in the USA "she don't" but it does not mean I can write it in an essay or at work, or "ain't". Just I do not want to look silly at work when I use "I already helped"
    – Tetiana
    Oct 19, 2021 at 16:48
  • Yes, with the provisos given for the present simple and the past simple. // 'I already helped Jane with the dishes' is something I'd consider many Americans would use without batting an eyelid, at least in conversation. It's probably used in writing, too, but would not be considered best practice in the UK. Oct 19, 2021 at 19:04

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