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For example can I say "Just a terrorist attack happened in Barcelona" instead of "A terrorist attack just happened in Barcelona" or "Just a guy came and asked about you" instead of "A guy just came and asked about you"? I can use "recently" at the beginning of a sentence in any situation as far as I know. Can't I do the same with "Just"?

  • No. You can say "Just now a terrorist attack happened in Barcelona." – GEdgar Aug 21 '17 at 10:56
  • "Just" at the very beginning of a sentence is generally interpreted to mean "merely". – Hot Licks Aug 21 '17 at 12:08
  • @GEdgar Or A terrorist attack just happened in Barcelona. The just needs to precede the verb it is qualifying; e.g. I just saw a golden eagle. There is an informal idiom in Britain, little used, but where a person says, when asked when something occurred "Oh, it happened just". But it is colloquial. – WS2 Aug 21 '17 at 12:29
  • You will hear "just" at the beginning of a sentence followed by a time reference. In your example - "Just this week, a terrorist attack happened in Barcelona" Or "Just yesterday I saw someone with a Joe Franklin in 2020 sticker on his car" In those cases 'just' means 'merely' however I bet that is how 'just' got it's adverbial use. ('I just now saw a bird' might have became 'I just saw a bird' )? – Tom22 Aug 21 '17 at 22:23

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