안녕하세요 KoreanStudyJunkie입니다! Today, we’ll briefly go over the difference between 이미 & 벌써.
TLDR: 벌써 is used to mean something happened (surprisingly) sooner than expected or a long time ago
So What Actually Is The Difference?
Both have the same meaning of 'Already', and can actually be used interchangeably in some situations. But 벌써 has another meaning to it that sets it apart from 이미.
The important thing is that 벌써 includes a sense of surprise while 이미 is more flat and factual.
이미 only applies to something that has already happened (이미 늦었어요).
벌써 - so soon; long ago | can be used for things happening sooner than you thought or faster than you expected.
For Example: 벌써 세 시야! (It's already 3 o'clock!) is natural, but 이미 세 시야! sounds weird. Because of this, 벌써 tends to be used more widely than 이미, especially in daily conversation.
이미 다 알고 있으니 거짓말하지.
I already know, so don’t lie!
나는 이미 그 사실을 알고 있었다
I already knew that.
내가 정거장에 도착했을 때 기차는 이미 떠나 버렸다.
When I arrived at the station, the train had already started[left].
너와 내가 만난 지 벌써 십 년이 넘었어요.
It's already been more than 10 years since you and I met.
지수는 약속 장소에 벌써 와서 나를 기다리고 있었어요.
Jisoo already came to the meeting place and was waiting for me.
난 벌써 돈을 다 써 버렸어.
I’ve spent all my money already.
Other Words/Related Words:
~ 어느새 - already, so soon
~ 어느덧 - already, so soon
~ 아까 - a while ago
~ 조금 전 - a little while ago
~ 조금 전까지 - until just a few minutes ago
~ 방금 - a moment ago; just now
~ 이따가 - a little later
~ 전에 - before, previo
~ 아직 - still, yet
~ 곧 - soon
~ 앞으로 - from now on, in the future
~ 오랜만 - being after a long time
Ex: 네게 오랜만에 메일을 쓰는 것 같다
It seems like a long time since I e-mailed you last.