Just as a time expression

Just is one of the commonest words in English. It has many uses.

Just as a time expression

Just can be a time expression. In this case, it is mainly used with the present perfect tense. This is common in British English.

  • She has just arrived.
  • I have just received your letter.
  • They have just left.
  • I have just finished the report.

In American English, just can also be used with a simple past tense.

  • She just called.
  • I just received a call from your Dad.
  • She just left.
  • I just finished the report.

As a time expression, just means recently.

Just can also mean immediately or in an instant. In this case, it is mainly used with a present continuous tense or ‘going to’.

  • I am just leaving for the airport.
  • I am just finishing this report.
  • She is just getting dressed.
  • I am just going to have lunch.

Note the expressions just after, just before, just as and just when.

  • Just as I closed my eyes, I heard a loud noise.
  • She always comes just when I am ready to leave.
  • I thought about it just when she opened her mouth.

Just as an adverb. As an adverb just means ‘only’.

  • I just asked. (= I only asked.)
  • She is just a child. (= She is only a child.)