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What is the difference between I'm as tall as my father and I'm just as tall as my father?

I know they are similar, But they make sense to be a little bit different. What is that difference?

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    What have you found in your own research about this issue? Explain then why you still have doubts.
    – fev
    Jul 15, 2022 at 12:10

2 Answers 2

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The first is a plain and simple statement of equal comparison. The second statement is more subtle and there are several possible shades of meaning of just. They depend on the context within which the statement is made. Each is different from the first plain statement in the way I suggest after each definition..

I quote from https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/just and suggest the implications:

  1. now, very soon, or very recently:
    I have recently grown as tall as my father

  2. exactly or equally
    I am exactly the same height as my father

  3. only; simply
    I am the same height as my father (and I have nothing else to say about my height)

  4. used to reduce the force of a statement and to suggest that it is not very important
    I am as tall as my father (and this has little relevance to anything else about us)

  5. almost not or almost
    I am almost (perhaps imperceptibly less than) the height of my father

  6. very; completely
    I am incontrovertibly the same height as my father

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    The grab-bag of meanings you list, while in one sense exhaustive, does not contain the answer to OP's question. The use of just there is one way of countering an assertion: "I am just as tall as my father" is most likely used to respond to someone who has said that the speaker was shorter than his father. Other uses are possible but less likely, and some would be downright strange.
    – Robusto
    Jul 15, 2022 at 13:39
  • @Robusto: Is that not covered by sense 6 ("very; completely")? As in, "You are not as tall as your father // I very much am as tall as my father"...
    – psmears
    Jul 15, 2022 at 13:44
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    @psmears: Perhaps, but why hide it in a list of other possibilities? And without explanation (such as yours), this answer is incomplete despite its shotgun approach. It's like asking a woman for a piece of gum and having her dump out her whole purse for you to pick through.
    – Robusto
    Jul 15, 2022 at 13:45
  • @Robusto All 6 are different from the plain statement. There is no unique answer. I have added to the answer to make the explicit point that there are many possible differences between the two sentences. Without more context, it would be a mistake to prejudge which meaning is most relevant, and I doubt that much is to be gained by trying to assess the relative frequencies of each usage. To use your analogy, the purse has several flavours of gum in it.
    – Anton
    Jul 15, 2022 at 21:47
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"I am just as tall as my father" can sound a bit defensive. One possible context is that someone remarks on the father being tall, or maybe even taller than the son, and then the son protests, "[But] I'm just as tall as my father[!]"

Without that defensive element, it would be unlikely the speaker would feel the need to include "just."

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