Example 1

Didn't you already told her about that?

Example 2

Haven't you already told her about that?

What is the difference between Haven't and Didn't?

Is that a difference between American English and British English?

  • 2
    This is really a question about simple past versus present perfect with "already". (Note: the first sentence should be "Didn't you already tell her about that?".) I suspect it is a duplicate, possibly of ell.stackexchange.com/questions/206642/… . Most BrE speakers use the perfect here. AmE often has the simple past (which I occasionally hear from BrE speakers too), although according to a comment by Lambie on the question I linked to, the perfect should ("strictly") be used in AmE too (but in practice it often isn't).
    – rjpond
    Commented Sep 6, 2022 at 8:06

1 Answer 1


The first example should be

Didn't you already tell her about that?


Haven't you already told her about that?

As another user commented, the former may be more common in American usage, while the latter more common in British. Simple past vs perfect past.

If you want to read exceptionally deeply into shades of meaning, you might say the first phrasing points to a specific moment in the past, while the second phrasing is assessing the current status of the subject as having performed that event at some time the past. In everyday usage the meaning is identical.

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