JMDict lists several words for already marked as common:







Is there any difference between all these "already" words, and is there among them a "universal" one which can be used in any context?

  • 2
    By 'universal' it sounds to me like you're mostly asking 'is there a perfect Japanese equivalent to the English word "already"'. English 'already' has its own restrictions on usage, and probably doesn't meet your criteria for being 'universal' and 'valid in any context'.
    – Sjiveru
    May 6 '17 at 19:41
  • All three senses of English dictionary.com/browse/already are very close to each other, they all indicate or imply perfect tense.
    – user1602
    May 6 '17 at 20:22
  • 2
    もう is applicable to any of three usages in the link above.
    – user4092
    May 7 '17 at 1:21
  • 1
    すでに sounds a bit stiff, but probably technically accomplishes what you want...
    – Kurausukun
    May 7 '17 at 1:45

The answer would be "もう"
I'm not sure how many contexts it could be for the usage of "already" but here's just a few basic examples:

I already ate = もうご飯食べた

Oh, it's already 12? = あれ、もう12時ですか

We're already late = 僕ら、もう遅れてるんだ

I already know that = もう知ってるんだよ

Hope it helps.

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