Just in case


Kaum ein englisches Wörtchen ist so vielseitig wie „just“. ADRIAN DOFF stellt einige Verwendung­smöglichke­iten vor – nur für den Fall der Fälle...

Someone is talking about their holiday in Scotland: “We just went for a week. We’ve only just got back. Just a minute… I’m just looking for our photos…. Look, the scenery was just amazing. In this photo, I’m just about to jump in the water. The sea was just warm enough – but it was very cold! I wish we could have stayed longer. A week

just wasn’t long enough.”

As the examples show, the word just is very common in English and is used in many ways.

It can mean only or not more than:

● ● I’m driving, so I’ll just have water, thank you. It’s cheap. You can get a meal for just €10.

It can mean very recently:

● ● Go in – the meeting has just started.

She’s only just left school, but she’s already found a well-paid job.

It can mean now:

● ● Wait a minute. I’m just getting changed.

(sports commentary) And the first runners are just coming round the bend…

It can mean really or absolutely:

● ● This cheesecake is just perfect.

The way he shouts at the kids is just awful.

It can mean exactly:

● ● He looks just like his grandfathe­r.

Thanks for the gift! It was just what I wanted.

And it can mean simply:

● ● Look, it’s easy. You just press this button. Everyone says I should go to university, but I just don’t want to.

We use the phrases only just or just about to talk about ● things that nearly didn’t happen:

I only just managed to finish packing before ● the taxi arrived.

I just about managed to finish the huge meal. Just ● now means a moment ago:

Where’s he gone to? I saw him just now.

Just ● then means at that moment:

We started having dinner. Just then, there was a huge crash and the window broke.

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