I've noticed that sometimes during the conversation I use the PP first and then I want to add an additional information on the exact time, e.g.

Yeah, I've already told you about that (pause)... yesterday.

Is it considered a correct usage in conversation or should I use something like this?

Yeah, I've already told you about that (pause)... I did it yesterday.

I really don't want to add that 'I did', especially when I'm discussing something important; but I'm not sure whether or not it sounds fine for a native speaker since my interlocutors are not native speakers and they don't care much.

  • I'm a non-native speaker, so I will just post my thoughts here. If I were in your situation, I think I would repair it like this: "Yeah, I've already told you about that. (pause to think about it for a sec, another sec, and maybe a few more seconds) Yesterday, I think." This will make it sound like a complete sentence (two sentences in total, that is), and put the tense issue out of the picture. Nov 21 '14 at 17:50

In informal conversation we simply do not bother about the finer points that we have time to consider when we are writing. I doubt if anybody would notice anything wrong if you said I've already told you about that yesterday with hardly a pause between the last two words.

Remember that in speech we are often not aware of what the ending of the utterance will be when we start it. If you ever read transcripts of genuinely unscripted informal speech, you will be very surprised at how even quite educated people can say things that they would never think of writing.

  • +1 for the answer. Would be even better with an unscripted quote as an example. "Seeing is believing"! As such, it'll help learners retain the information.
    – learner
    Nov 21 '14 at 18:43

Your sentence is correct -

  1. Yeah, I've already told you about that (pause)... yesterday. - Perfectly Fine

  2. Yeah, I've already told you about what i did yesterday. - is a correct sentence formation

More examples for practice

  1. I have come to know what you did yesterday. (previously i didn't know but now i know)
  2. It seems that he hasn't told you what he did yesterday.
  3. He has already told you about that yesterday, hasn't he ?
  • 1
    Your first #2 is not what the OP wrote or meant.
    – Dan Getz
    Oct 22 '14 at 18:39
  • It isn't, really. And I'm also not sure that #3 is correct. Could you provide some proofs? As I know, 'has told' + 'yesterday' don't work together, do they? Oct 23 '14 at 12:36
  • Dan Getz - could you tell me what exactly the OP meant ?
    – Leo
    Oct 28 '14 at 16:18

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.