I recently came across the following paragraph and paused for some reason on the adverb 이미, which means "already." I paused because I wondered why the writer chose to use 이미 instead of 벌써, which also means "already"?
피츠버그대의 한 관계자는 19일 “섀튼 교수가 황 교수와 주고받은 모든 전자우편을 확보해 검토하는 등 그에 대한 대학 연구윤리국 조사가 거의 마무리됐다”며 “학교 당국은 이미 섀튼의 잘못이 충분히 드러났다고 판단하고 곧 징계위원회를 열어 중징계를 내릴 방침”이라고 밝혔다.이미 and 벌써 can both be used to mean "already," but 벌써 is used when one wants to express surprise that something has already happened. In other words, 벌써 implies a "So soon?" meaning. For example, only 벌써, not 이미, can be used in the following dialog:
On the 19th, an official for the University of Pittsburg said, "The investigation by the university's research ethics division is almost finished. We have secured all the email between Professor Schatten and Professor Hwang and are examining it. School officials have already judged that Schatten's errors were excessive, and the disciplinary committee plans to convene and announce disciplinary measures soon.
A: 다 마쳤어어요.
A: I've finished everything.
B: Already? (So soon?)
Also, Koreans seem to use 벌써 instead of 이미 when asking questions. Consider the following dialog:
A: 벌써 했어요?
B: 네, 벌써 했어요.
A: Have you already done it?
B: Yes, I have already done it.
Since the the writer used 이미 in the Korean paragraph above, he or she apparently was not surprised to hear that school officials had already determined that Professor Schatten had made mistakes. That is all right, but I still have a question about the sentence. Consider the following:
- “학교 당국은 이미 섀튼의 잘못이 충분히 드러났다고 판단하고..."
- “학교 당국은 섀튼의 잘못이 충분히 드러났다고 이미 판단하고...."