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ever / already ??

Démarré par juliejourdan, 18 Oct 2011 05:28

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Hi everyone!

je suis nouvelle sur le forum..
je suis en australie pour un stage jusqu'en juin et je suis donc obligee de parler anglais.. mais bien sur, jai quelques difficultes!!
je voulais savoir dans quelle(s) circonstance(s) on utilise already ou ever..
par exemple pour demander:
es tu deja alle a cet endroit?
as tu deja vu ce film?

merci de votre aide!!



Hey juliejourdan, welcome to the forum!

Already and ever are very similar, so the difference is a bit difficult.

For example, both sentences you gave, I could translate using either...

"Have you already been to this place?/Have you ever been to this place?"
"Have you already seen this movie?/Have you ever seen this movie?"

For me, "ever" carries a bit of a negative sense (negative grammatically), as "not ever" is the same as "never." You can use "ever" in questions, affirmative or negative, and you can use "ever" in negative phrases, but affirmative phrases you cannot use "ever." For example...

1. She hasn't ever been to Canada. Elle n'est jamais allée au Canada.
2. Hasn't she ever been to Canada? N'est-elle jamais allée au Canada?
3. Has she ever been to Canada? Est-elle déjà allée au Canada?

These are all correct. However, for "Elle est déjà allée au Canada" saying "She has ever been to Canada" is not correct. That sentence has to be "She has already been to Canada" instead. Notice in number 2 "ever" is translated as "jamais" instead of "déjà," maybe that helps with the negative grammatical sense I mentioned earlier.

"Already" on the other hand, can be used in all four cases.

1. She hasn't already been to Canada.
2. Hasn't she already been to Canada?
3. Has she already been to Canada?
4. She has already been to Canada.

I found a thread at WordReference that discusses the same thing: and one of the people in the thread, a French speaker, says "J'ai l'impression que c'est lié au subjonctif" and I agree. I can't explain it exactly, and I don't think it is actually is linked to the subjunctive, but it feels very similar to me. (like how in French with "je pense que" and "je ne pense pas que" one uses subjunctive and one doesn't)

Hope that helps...if not, let me know!
Hello, and welcome to Apprendre l'anglais.
Bonjour, et bienvenue à Apprendre l'anglais.


Hi Thomas !

Thank you for your reply. It is clearer in my mind now!
Your podcast are really helpful, I listen one or two episode every day (and I try not to forget what I learnt..)!

Thanks again!