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Is there any difference between already and previously in the context of this sentence?

We present only updates of news without repeating the facts that the user has already/previously read.

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In the context of this sentence, the difference between 'already' and 'previously' is merely based on their dictionary meanings.

Having said that, the word which is best for this use-case is 'already'. When you write 'already', it encompasses the sense of 'previously' by default. Also, the construction of the sentence is such that it favors already'. 'We present only' and 'without repeating' hints that the speaker excludes the updates which have 'already' been read (previously, of course) by the reader.

  • So, what's the difference in the meaning? – Shayan Aug 8 '17 at 11:06
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    I encourage you to check out OED. Already includes the connotation of 'by now'. While already and previously describe events that happened at an earlier time, 'already' reinforces that they happened before/by the time in question. Looking at their synonyms will lend a better idea. Already has 'by that time', 'by now' as top synonyms while 'previously' has 'formerly', 'earlier' as the top synonyms. Hope it makes things clear. – satnam Aug 8 '17 at 13:03
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"Previously" is derived from latin praevius, "Already" is a merging of English words "all ready"

I love learning things like this in answering questions:

Already used to be two English words "All ready" but they were merged to become "already". You can read a bit more about it on dictionary.com

So this is a case of the same meaning being conveyed by words that come from different origins. It happens a lot in English due to the many languages that informed its development (and continue to influence it).

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