Teaching English, Literature, and Cultural Awareness.

Homonyms, Homophones

Already vs All Ready – Commonly Confused Homophones

What is the Difference?

All ready and Already are considered homophones. Homophones are a type of homonym which sound the same but have different meanings and spelling.

All ready is talking about people or things being ready.

Already is a reference to time.


All Ready

“Are you all ready to go?” In this sentence ‘all’ refers to a person. While it seems like it should only refer to a group of people, it is often used toward a single person as well. What they are asking is whether or not the person(s) is ready to leave or if they have other things they need to do first.

“Is everything all ready for the party?” In this sentence ‘all’ refers to things. For example, they might be referring to things one prepares for a party (food, decorations, etc…). What they are asking is if the party is ready to begin or if there are other things that need to be handled first.


“I didn’t realize it was already time to wake up.” This sentence shows that ‘already’ is a time in the present or recent past.

“I already did the laundry.” This sentence tells us that ‘already’ means at some point in the past.

“Can we leave already?” This is a common, yet dramatic usage in which ‘already’ is saying that they would have liked to have left in the past. In this usage, the time feels like it has gone on too long, and they feel late and impatient.

How To Remember

The easiest trick to remember the difference is this:

When there is a space that creates two words, you are usually dealing with more than one thing or person being referred to.