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Do these two statements mean the same thing?

  1. Pizza tastes as good as pasta.

  2. Pizza tastes just as good as pasta.

To me, 1 sounds like pizza tastes at least like pasta or better while 2 sounds like pizza tastes no better than pasta.

Am I right in my interpretation?

2
  • Do dictionaries not give more than the 'just about / barely' sense for 'just'? Nov 5, 2015 at 7:24
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    The second one seems to imply that the earlier conversation has been advancing pasta to the detriment of pizza.
    – WS2
    Nov 5, 2015 at 8:38

2 Answers 2

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I would say your interpretation is not correct. Just theoretically tells us pizza does not merely taste about as good as pasta: it tastes exactly as good. So it cannot taste slightly less good: it truly is up to the level of goodness of pasta and not an iota lower.

In practice, this mainly serves as a mild intensifier to the expression as a whole; it mostly just adds emphasis.

Just doesn't suggest that pizza is better than pasta any more than the variant without just does (they may both equally suggest that it is better, or not, depending on context).

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Just as here means exactly like.

just as can be used along with adjectives especially when you are using adjectives of quality.

For example, just as pretty as her.

So if you intend to say exactly like pasta then your interpretation would be correct.

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