1. The WordReference Forums have moved to new forum software. (Details)

Already in interrogative present perfect

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Agró, Dec 17, 2009.

  1. Agró

    Agró Senior Member

    High Navarre
    Spanish-Navarre
    Hi there.
    I have seen a few examples of interrogative present perfect with 'already' at the end:
    1. Have you done your homework already?

    'Yet' is what I thought had to be used in these cases:
    2. Have you done your homework yet?

    My question: do they both mean the same?

    Could it be that you don't really expect a yes/no answer in 1?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    EEUU-inglés
    Hello Agró,

    The simple answer to "Do they both mean the same thing?" is a resounding "Maybe".

    1. Have you done your homework already?

    This may suggest surprise that the person has done the homework.

    2. Have you done your homework yet?

    This may indicate (1) a simple query, (2) impatience or annoyance that the homework hasn't been completed yet.

    With more context or spoken intonation queues, the meaning is usually clear.
     
  3. Agró

    Agró Senior Member

    High Navarre
    Spanish-Navarre
    Thanks, cuchuflete, very kind of you.
     
  4. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
    As Cuchu says, a great deal depends on the intonation:

    If you want to ask in a plaintive sort of way of a lazy child, if the homework is done, then it's "Have you done your homework yet?". It's almost a question expecting the answer no. The simple non-emotive question would probably not contain the yet.

    If you are astonished at the fact that a normally lazy child is outside playing football, when you thought there were a few minutes of homework left to do, you might say "Have you done your homework already?" In other words have you really done it, or have you been diverted by other things? This question need not be asked sceptically; you might ask it to express surprise and admiration that a conscientious child has got the work done so quickly.

    I think Cuchu and I agree for once.
     

Share This Page