Uses of “just”
The word “just” is used in several different contexts in the English language. The position of “just” in a sentence also changes, depending on the context. Let’s look at some examples:
1) exactly-verb + just
He looks just like my father.
2) recently; a short while ago- just + verb (or) between the auxiliary “have” and the past participle
I just finished my homework.
She has just gotten married.
3) by a narrow margin; barely– just + verb
I just finished the project on time.
4) simply or only– just + noun or noun phrase (or) just + verb
You just have to add salt.
I talked to just one student.
5) sarcasm- just + adjective/noun
After I finished the assignment, I realized that I didn’t it on my computer. That’s just perfect!
Exercise A: Now try to identify the context of the following sentences and the correct position of the word just. In some cases, more than one answer will be possible.
1-exactly 2-only 3-barely 4-recently 5-sarcasm
1) I’m really exhausted. I ran ten miles today. __
2) I fell on some ice on the sidewalk and hurt myself. It’s a scratch, though. __
3) I had the winning lottery number, but I lost my ticket. That’s my luck! __
4) The police missed the thief when they arrive to the scene of the crime. __
5) The doctor told me that I was allowed to eat soft food for a few days. __
Exercise B: Now put the following sentences in the correct order. There may be more than one possibility.
1) that mine My bought just friend a car is like.
2) I the do weekend exercise usually just on.
3) I my chores just completed have all.
4) need right That’s now just what I!
5) just before arrived home the storm We began.
Answers to last week’s Check Yourself:
Look at following examples and choose the correct form.
1. I (haven’t / don’t have) enough money to go on vacation.
2. She (hasn’t had / doesn’t have) to wear glasses since last year.
3. The employees (didn’t / haven’t) received a raise for a long time.
4. Why are you here? (Didn’t / Haven’t) you have to go to the doctor’s office today?
5. I wish I (didn’t have / haven’t ) so many responsibilities.
Now look at these next examples and complete the sentence/question with the negative form of do or have. Pay close attention to the correct form based on the context (i.e. past / present / third person, etc.)
1. Yesterday I _didn’t__ have to work because it was a holiday.
2. I _haven’t_ seen a movie at the theater for over a year.
3. He _hasn’t_ looked very healthy lately.
4. She wishes she __didn’t_ have so many problems with her car.
5. My boss __didn’t__ put the correct ID number on the form yesterday.