Usage: Only vs. just

 

A lot of the time, you can replace ONLY with JUST.

 

For example, when “only” is used as adverb:

<<副詞>>

(1) 僅僅; 只有, merely

This is only a test.  = This is just a test.

 

(2) 至少, At the very least

If you would only come to see us. = If you would just come to see us.

 

(3) 僅有地, And nothing else or more

I only work here. = I just work here.

 

(4) 獨有地, Exclusively; solely 

These sales are only available to us. = These sales are just available to us.

 

As for:

These sales are available to us only. 

You cannot say: “These sales are available to us just”.  The grammar is incorrect.

 

(5) 只會, In the final outcome:

Your words will only aggravate him. = Your words will just aggravate him.

 

(6)(結果) 只是, Nevertheless:

He went to the party only to find out that everyone had left.  = He went to the party just to find out that everyone had left. 

 

(7) 最近, as recently as

He came home only last week. = He came home just last week.

 

When only is used as a conjunction, you cannot replace only with just.

<<連接詞>>

(1) 但是, 然而

The toys are for sale, only they have been marked up.

If you want to replace this sentence with “just”, you need to change it to:

The toys are for sale, just that they have been marked up.

 

These are situations where you cannot replace JUST with ONLY.

<<副詞>>

(1) 正確地; 確實地, Precisely; exactly:

He has just enough cash to buy the grocery. (恰好有足夠的)

= He has exactly enough cash to buy the grocery.

The meaning is slightly different when you say: “He has only enough cash to buy the grocery”, which means: “He has merely enough cash to buy the grocery” (只有足夠的)

 

(2) 剛才, within a brief preceding time; but a moment before

He just arrived.

 

(3) 勉強地; 差一點, by a narrow margin; barely

He just caught the bus before it pulled away 

 

(4) At a little distance

It is just down the road.

 

(5) 實在地, simply

It's just magnificent!

 

(6) 可能, perhaps

I just may go.

 

When they are used as adjectives 形容詞, they are not interchangeable.

 

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