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  1. Does Let's go already! mean Let's go now?

Then, does already in the sentence mean "we should be going now; we're late?"

That's what I understood so far.

Could you please tell me what Let's go already! means?

  1. You should already know how to do that.

A: Can you show me how to fill out this form?
B: Absolutely. And after that, you want me to show how to wipe your ass?
C: It's funny, because you should already know how to do both those things.

I know that the way B and C are speaking is kind of kidding and teasing A, but I was wondering why C is using the word already.

You should know means "you better know", but I know that already means "happened in the past", and "happened than you expected". Does it mean "You should know it sooner: you should learn how to do that sooner than you planned"?

  • 3
    Examples like "Let's go already" are found only in AmE, never in BrE. See example 2 in this link – BillJ Nov 14 '16 at 8:54
  • There really are two separate questions here. That wasn't clear in the original posting and it's even less clear after the edit. – David K Nov 15 '16 at 15:07
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In "Let's go already", already has no direct reference to the passage of time; it merely expresses impatience. It's not 'native English' but a Yiddishism, a loan translation of shoyn, equivalent to German schon. Schon/shoyn means 'already' in formal contexts, but is also employed with considerably wider (and vaguer) sense as a modal particle:

... an uninflected word used mainly in spontaneous spoken language in colloquial registers. It has a dual function: reflecting the mood or attitude of the speaker or narrator, and highlighting the sentence focus. —Wikipedia

In this function the word itself is never stressed, as it may be in ordinary use: it typically follows the word to be emphasized and 'falls off' from that word in stress and pitch.

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Already in American English is used also as an intensifier, to give more emphasis to the expression it relates to:

  • (Informal) Used as an intensive: Be quiet already. Enough already.

AHD

  • Colloquial use in U.S. as a terminal emphatic (as in enough, already!) is attested from 1903, translating Yiddish shoyn, which is used in same sense. The pattern also is attested in Pennsylvania German and in South African.

Etymonline

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In your second example, "already" is used in one of its more standard ways. It simply means

by now

Your first example is an Americanised usage. You can think of it as bringing up the idea of "by now" as before. The speaker is saying:

We should have gone by now, but since we haven't, let's go.

  • Why the downvotes? This seems like a fine explanation, much like "I need it by yesterday" – Will Nov 14 '16 at 17:11
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    @Will - It may seem like a fine explanation, but I'm afraid it's not the correct one. See StoneyB's answer as well as the link in BillJ's comment to the O.P. – J.R. Nov 14 '16 at 17:35
  • 1
    I don't think it's incorrect, but certainly not as good an answer! – Tom B Nov 14 '16 at 18:19
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    This is the only answer that addresses the OP's second question.It certainly doesn't deserve a downvote. – TonyK Nov 14 '16 at 21:50
  • I'd argue that this answer is better because it explains why the word has both uses. "Already" expresses increasing urgency or impatience with the rationale that the event in question should have happened by now. – Kevin Laity Nov 15 '16 at 16:35

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