Already and All Ready

by Craig Shrives
The Quick Answer
What is the difference between all ready and already?

All ready means completely prepared.

Already means prior to a specified or implied time.
all ready or already difference

Already and All Ready

The terms already and all ready sound identical and are sometimes confused.


The word already is an adverb meaning prior to a specified or implied time or as early as now.
  • It is already illegal to culture human-animal embryos for more than fourteen days.
  • (already = since before now)
  • When they pulled the shark up in the net it was already dead.
  • (already = since before then)
  • The wild Hepatica Nobilis flowers are already blooming — one month earlier than last year.
  • (already = as early as now)

All Ready

The term all ready means completely prepared. It is slightly more emphatic than just prepared.

  • Jillian is all ready. Mark is prepared to brief.
  • (Most readers would assume Jillian's state of preparedness to be higher than Mark's.)
Of course, the word all (when used as an indefinite pronoun with a meaning similar to everyone) can precede ready.

  • Is the tent ready? Is Jane ready? Are you ready? Are you all ready?
Interactive Exercise
Here are three randomly selected questions from a larger exercise, which can be edited, printed to create an exercise worksheet, or sent via email to friends or students.

See Also

adverse or averse? affect or effect? appraise or apprise? avenge or revenge? bare or bear? complement or compliment? dependant or dependent? discreet or discrete? disinterested or uninterested? e.g. or i.e.? envy or jealousy? imply or infer? its or it's? material or materiel? poisonous or venomous? practice or practise? principal or principle? tenant or tenet? who's or whose?
What are adverbs? Common errors in writing Easily confused words