既に vs. もう：How To Quickly Figure Them Out
When you want to use the meaning “Already”, what kind of words do you use? 既に or もう? And what is the difference between them? Japanese has a lot of words for casual and formal and these are one of them. Since 既に and もう are useful words in ordinal conversations, try to use 既に and もう after figuring them out. Let me introduce how different they are today!
既に(sudeni) / もう(mou)
Both “既に(sudeni) and もう(mou)” are the same meaning which is “Already”. The difference between them is that “もう” is quite casual than “既に” such as “もう着いたの?” as casual and “既に着きましたか？” as polite or formal which mean “Have you already arrived?”. However, “既に” is pretty formal so you could also say “もう着きましたか？” as polite. Thus, “もう着いたの?” is used as casual, “もう着きましたか?” as polite and “既に到着しましたか？” as formal that all mean “Have you already arrived?”. The tips for using them are that “もう” is used as casual and polite in daily conversations and “既に” is used as formal(polite) especially in business situations.