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Common English Mistakes Made With  ‘JUST’ & ‘ONLY’ | Know The Difference

Beginners in English make some common English mistakes while speaking English in daily conversations. One such mistake is between the choice of JUST & ONLY. They think these words could be used interchangeably, but there’s a difference between them. That’s what today’s English lesson is all about, understand the difference between JUST & ONLY and how to correctly use them in spoken English. Improve your spoken English with our free English Speaking lessons and speak English fluently and confidently. 

Complete Lesson Transcript : –

Hello everybody welcome back to Let’s Talk, this is me Meera and we’re gonna talk about “only” and “just”. Why am I talking about only and just because (a) we use it very often and (b) we make mistakes very often in both, right? We do not understand what to use where or when and that is why we end up making mistakes and that is exactly the reason why we’re going to learn about it today. Now let’s take a look at the first example, we’re gonna start with the word “only”. Now when we think about the word only, what do you think it means? Just try to think since we have two columns very close to each other the words okay, what could “only” mean? “Only” means nothing besides something, alright? That means solely, right? It means no one besides something else, right? And that is why only means solely. In this case we’re going to talk about it in terms of an adverb, alright? Let me write here. On the other hand what does just mean then? Just to clear all the confusion in the first go itself, “just” means exact, precise okay? So exact or precise. Now that you have, and this too is an adverb over here, in this case. Let’s take a look at the first example over here, “we only have one phone left”, what could that mean? That means we have solely this phone and nothing else besides this phone, do you want that and then you say oh no but I wanted the other phone but unfortunately they do not have that phone and that is why they have said, we have only one phone left. That doesn’t happen quite often but you never know there are so many sales and people buy a lot of, people buy continuously and that’s why you might just not be you remember there is a photo and people usually say, out of stock or only one left that means solely that one piece is left with them and nothing besides that. Now take a look at the other, this, this example right, here “we have just this phone”, exactly this phone, that doesn’t mean that they have only one phone left it means, that they have the exact model that you wanted and that is why they use the world just over here. The point is you guys in this case it’s interchangeable, okay? I can use just over here, we have just one phone left, exactly one phone left. I want you to remember that in this case it was interchangeable, okay? The meaning will remain the same we have only this phone only this phone, it’s not interchangeable, in that case because then it would mean that you have one phone left and that is not what you want to say over here. Now moving on to the next example “she thinks only about you”, what could this mean in this sentence? That means she thinks about you and nobody else, okay? Only you and no one else and that’s why this again it means that just that one, solely you. Now take a look at this example over here, “I just thought about you”, probably there was a moment or something and you said that hey you saw your friends call and say hey I just thought about you, right? Or let me put it in another way “I think just about you” will this mean the same as this? Yes! I think precisely about you or exactly about you and again in this case this can be interchangeable, ‘she thinks just about you’, ‘I think just about you’, ‘she thinks only about you’ it can be interchangeable in this case, okay? I’m going to come to this example in just a bit see I just used it that’s how often you use these words. That is why you need to clear certain things. Moving on “I was only joking”, okay? Probably you were you’re with your friends and you were cracking jokes about pulling each other’s legs and then someone gets serious and says, “oh my god are you serious?” “No I was only joking”, I was solely joking and nothing serious, right? I was not being serious, it was just a joke and I just said it that means “I was just joking”, again these two adverbs right here guys are interchangeable. I was exactly or precisely joking, I was not serious about pulling your leg, I didn’t want you to feel bad or please don’t get hurt about the joke. I was only joking, right? Now the point here is again they are interchangeable as long as you mean that you were solely joking and not being serious and you were just joking, exactly joking and not being serious. Now the reason why I’m talking about interchanging these words is because there are certain examples where you cannot change or replace these words in place of others. “I just ate”, okay? In this case the meaning becomes something an action that has just happened or has happened in the recent, immediate past, okay? And action happened or occurred in recent past. “I just ate”, “she just called”, “I just thought about you” again in this case it would be about recent past just like this. “Only you can understand me” I just, I’m sure that I have cleared this out, “I just ate”, “I just thought about you”, “she just called”, “you just missed her” right? So these are examples of something that has happened in the recent past. Moving on from this to here, “only you can understand me”, what does that mean? That means solely or singularly only you can understand me and in this case you guys this becomes an adjective okay? And when we talk about only as an adjective, what does it mean? It means something that is unique or something that is single, right? “Only you can understand me, nobody else” Singularly you or your unique and you understand me, right? That is why we use only as an adjective over here, similarly “she’s their only daughter”, there’s nobody else, single daughter and that is why it’s unique, okay? Some one person understand me I’m actually mentioning that there’s nobody else in this world who can’t understand me except for you and that is why it becomes unique, becomes single, nothing which is similar to that. Similarly she’s their only daughter and there is nobody else that the parents have, right? Now moving on from adjective over here take a look at this “the decision was not just” the decision was not just, what does that mean? In this case “just” means something that is not fair, okay? Something that is not fair, the decision was not just. Our parents were always just to the both of us that means they were fair to the both children, both their children, both of them were happy and that’s why they said they were just. Similarly, usually in courtrooms or a legal language you can use this term “the decision was not just”, meaning something is not fair. So there you have guys there are pretty different meanings when you use these words differently. It’s about what you mean to say. They can be interchangeable and some cannot be interchangeable she is just their daughter, no! So in this case it cannot be interchangeable and that is why you need to know what are you trying to say and that is where you will understand if hey I can replace these two words or I cannot replace these two words like I said they’re different meanings to all make sure that you take a look at this board pause if you want to, take a look at this board, understand what these meanings are and try to use it. I always say this guys, try to practice this when you’re talking or when you’re conversing the next time. That’s all for today guys, that’s the difference between “only” and “just”. I will be back very soon with another lesson, another topic until then makes that you’re smiling, you’re practicing it, spread a lot of love and I will see you very soon, okay? Bye guys.

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