"Already" at the beginning of a sentence

elpis

Member
Poland, Polish
Hello.
I cannot find the answer to my question. Can we start a sentence with "already" like in an example:
Already John Newman noticed this phemonemon.
 
  • fnaynay

    Member
    English
    Yes, you could start a sentence this way, but it would be more natural to say "John Newman already noticed this phenomenon." (I think you meant phenomenon not phemonemon)
     

    elpis

    Member
    Poland, Polish
    Thanks.
    Of course, phenomenon.
    The meaning is that it was something done ages ago (actually 19 centuries ago). What about "It was already somebody who did something."
     
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    Forero

    Senior Member
    You can start a sentence with already, but not this particular sentence because here already belongs with the verb it modifies to emphasize and "explain" the use of past tense.
     

    xebonyx

    Senior Member
    TR/AR/EN
    Yes, "already" is used as emphasis at the beginning of a sentence. Ie: "Already, we have sold 100,000 copies of the CD" gives more of an effect of disbelief/surprise than:
    "We have sold 100,000 copies of the cd already."
     

    elpis

    Member
    Poland, Polish
    The emphasis of my original sentence in Polish is that the activity was done early in history and one person is given as an example. I have some other problems with that particular sentence, so my first example was made up.
    In fact, it is something like: "Already St Luke mentioned using certain narratives..."
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    We did X already or already we did this is unidiomatic in BE.

    It has to be We have done this already. If you were to say Already we have done this it would sound terribly Slav, to my ears.
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    I can't think of a time when it would be normal to do so, no.
    My, xqby, you really need to spend more time reading paragons of literary virtue like Bulwer-Lytton.

    The Disowned (line numbers): Already he had acquired much worldly lore from Talbot's precepts and
    9668: conversation. He had obtained even something better than worldly
    9669: lore, -- a kindly and indulgent disposition to his fellow-creatures; for
    9670: he had seen that foibles were not inconsistent with generous and great
    9671: qualities, and that we judge wrongly of human nature when we ridicule
    9672: its littleness.
     
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    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    We did X already or already we did this is unidiomatic in BE.
    It has to be We have done this already. If you were to say Already we have done this it would sound terribly Slav, to my ears.
    Moreover, in English already means before now or before the point in time we are talking about.

    We don't really have enough context to be sure, but I suspect that in Already John Newman noticed this phemonemon, Elpis may mean something else by already - something like a long time ago. This sounds like a Yiddishism to my ears, rather than Slavonic.
     
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