Ich weiß bereits, wer du bist.

English Translation

I already know who you are.

I’ve always known bereit to mean “ready.” I’ve never seen it used as “already.” Is this common? Would it not make more sense to use schon?

“Bereit” really means “ready” or “prepared” like in “Sei bereit” = “be prepared”

But here it is “bereits” = “already”

“Ich weiß schon, wer du bist” has almost the same meaning, but there is a small difference.
“ich weiß bereits, wer du bist” is meant in time whereas “Ich weiß schon, wer du bist” can also mean “I know who you are (but I do not care).”
For example:
“Wear your helmet!” “But I am the boss here.” “Ich weiß schon, wer du bist. But everybody has to wear a helmet on this construction site”.
In this situation neither “bereits” nor “already” fits.


So, it sounds like the difference is between a fact and a meaningful fact, that is, one that ‘prepares’ you. If so, it’s a nice distinction.