Are "I just noticed it" and "I barely noticed it" the same?

Let's say somebody tells me something about something/somebody and I didn't know about it until the person told me and the person asks, "Did you know?" And I reply, "No, I barely notice it." Am I meaning "No, I just noticed it"? If so, comment about it please. I would also like an answer about another word, phrase or expression to say "just now/a little moment before now" as when someone says, "this just came out today/yesterday/this week/last week/etc." it's worth to say that I already know about "right now" and I know I can say "I just noticed it right now" but I would like to know if there is another word, phrase or expression. To express this whether is common, formal or legal. Just to extend my knowledge.

  • 1
    You could say " I noticed it but it was not obvious ".
    – user15266
    May 11, 2016 at 4:11
  • 1
    I have only recently become aware of it. May 11, 2016 at 4:40
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    "I just noticed it" is ambiguous. It could mean "I barely noticed it," or it could mean "I only noticed it very recently." But "I barely noticed it" cannot mean "I only noticed it very recently."
    – herisson
    May 11, 2016 at 5:08
  • Guys this is what I found on Wordreference. barely adv (not quite) apenas adv I had barely sat down when there was a knock at the door. So I think "I barely noticed it" could mean "I didn't quite know about it" May 11, 2016 at 5:26
  • And this is what I found about "not quite" not quite adv (almost) May 11, 2016 at 14:17

2 Answers 2


They are not the same. I just noticed means you finally saw it. I barely noticed might mean it was hidden or not in clear view.

  • Kelly, Let me see if I'm understanding correctly. If I'm painting a wall for a customer and he points out a small spot that I missed and I say "I barely noticed it" in other words I would be saying "I new about it but I thought nobody would see it" but if I say "I just noticed it" it means that I didn't know but thanks to him I now know about it. Am I following you right? May 11, 2016 at 6:05
  • @ManuelHernandez You got it wrong. "Barely noticed" implies, if not mean, that you didn't know of the spot because it was too feeble to be noticed. The "just noticed" part you got right.
    – vickyace
    May 11, 2016 at 11:31

No, they are not the same.

To your original question, the correct answer, having not noticed something until it is pointed out would be:

I hadn't noticed that.

Neither of your other offerings accurately represent the situation described.

"I barely noticed" implies "It is barely noticeable" which sounds like you are trivializing the thing that you did indeed know about.

"I just now noticed" or "I noticed just now" both suggest that you, again, had noticed the thing on your own, but just prior to being asked about it.

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