Humble   Wed May 16, 2007 4:58 am GMT
Please look at these sentences.

1.You’ve (already) been playing for 3 hours.
2.You’ve been playing for 3 hours (already).
3. I have been looking for the right one for two years (already).

In Russian we always use “already” when we translate sentences in the Perfect tenses, especially the Pr. Perf. Progressive, because in this case what is implied grammatically in English has to be expressed lexically in Russian.
That’s why those who translate from Russian always translate “already”, though in fact it is supefluous.
My question is: how often native speakers say “already” with the Present Perfect Progressive? Would you rather say or not say it in the above sentences? Should I avoid the calque?

Jim   Wed May 16, 2007 5:03 am GMT
It depends. I might add it for emphasis. Somehow it fits best in 1 & worst in 3 for me.
Guest   Wed May 16, 2007 5:05 am GMT
In English, you can say it in those sentences, but it adds a certain nuance to the sentence. It implies that you feel that you feel like the amount of time that has passed is a lot or even excessive.

So, if someone said to me "You've been playing for 3 hours already," I would take it that they were frustrated with me playing and wanted me to stop.
furrykef   Wed May 16, 2007 6:57 am GMT
I agree with what was said above, though there's not a very significant difference between #1 and #2. It would also be possible to say "for three hours now", which doesn't sound as negative as "for three hours already". A child who wanted to brag about how long he's been playing would probably say "I've been playing for three hours now!" In any case, the word is used to bring some sort of emphasis to the duration. If the emphasis is not needed (as emphasis often isn't... people tend to be too hyperbolic), it's better to omit the extra word. But if the emphasis is warranted, it's certainly fine to use it.

The third sentence, while certainly possible as-is, would probably be expressed more frequently with "for two years now". In either case, the speaker expects to continue searching for a while; the word "now" or "already" would be omitted if the speaker thought the search was likely to end soon.

- Kef
Humble   Thu May 17, 2007 4:16 am GMT
Thank you all very much.