5 common uses of the word 就

The use of 就 jiù is not easy to grasp. There is no exact translation for this word in English. In this article, we’ll explain to you 5 common uses of the word 就 that beginner students should know.

Use 1 : express earliness or immediateness, quickness.

Structure: (adv. + ) + verb  or  (time +) + verb

frequent used word combinations: 马上就…, 立刻…就…, 才…就…, 现在就…, 就去…

Examples:

zǎo shàng 8 diǎn tā jiù dào xué xiào le.

早上8到学校了。 (As early as) 8 o’clock in the morning he arrived at school.

wǒ mǎ shàng jiù hǎo .

马上就好.                   I’m (immediately) ready right now.

fàn cài mǎ shàng jiù shàng lái .

饭菜马上就上来.          The dishes are (immediately) coming right now.

yǔ cái gāng gāng xià wán, tài yáng jiù chū lái le .

刚刚下完,太阳出来了.      The rain has just stopped, and the sun is (already) out.

tài hǎo le, wǒ míng tiān jiù qù mǎi.

太好了, 我明天就去买。               Great. I’ll go (as early as) tomorrow to buy it.

wǒmen xiàn zài jiù zǒu ba。

我们现在就走吧。                        Let’s go just right now.

 

Use 2: to show emphasis (often to emphasize closeness, easiness):

Can be translated as : right (this one), right (here), right (over there)

frequent combinations: 就是, 就只有, 就在, 就可以, 就去

Examples:

jīn tiān jiù zài wǒ jiā chī fàn ba.

今天就在我家吃饭吧。                 Today why not just stay right at my home to eat dinner.

nǐ qù nà ge shāng diàn jiù kě yǐ mǎi nǐ yào de hànyǔ shū。

你去那个商店就可以买你要的汉语书。        You go to that shop and (right there) you may buy the Chinese books you need.

qián miàn jiù shì yín háng.

前面就是银行.                                              (Right) in front is the bank.

zhè jiù shì wǒ de měi guó péng yǒu.

就是我的美国朋友.                                   This IS my American friend.

wǒ de gōng sī jiù zài qián miàn.

我的公司就在前面.                                      My company is right ahead.

zhè jiù shì nǐ de xīn tóng shì Tom.

就是你的新同事Tom.                               This IS your new colleague Tom.

tā jiù shì nǐ yào zhǎo de rén.

就是你要找的人。                                     He is right the person you are looking for.

zhèr jiù shì wǒ de gōng sī.

这儿就是我的公司。                                     Here IS my company.

chāo shì jiù zài wǒ jiā páng biān.

超市就在我家旁边。                                     The supermarket is right next to my house.

tā jiā jiù zài wǒ jiā hòu biān,bù yuǎn, hěn hǎo zhǎo.

他家就在我家后边,不远,很好找。             His house is right behind mine, not far, very easy to find.

nǐ wǎng qián biān zǒu wǔ fēn zhōng,jiùshì zhōng guó yín háng.

你往前边走五分钟,就是中国银行。            You go ahead for 5 min, right there is the bank of China.

Use 3: emphasize on the quantity (normally little):

Often can be translated into: only has, only left

frequent used word combinations: 就只有, 就剩下

qián bāo lǐ jiù shèng xià 5 kuài qián le.

钱包里就剩下5块钱了.                              In the wallet, only left 5 RMB.

jīn tiān wǎn shàng fàn diàn lǐ jiù zhǐ yǒu 3 gè rén chī fàn.

今天晚上饭店里就只有3个人吃饭。          Tonight in the restaurant there was only 3 people eating dinner.

háizi men dōu qù shàng xué le, jiā lǐ jiù shèng xià mǔ qīn yí gè rén.

孩子们都去上学了, 家里就剩下母亲一个人。 The children all went to school. Only left the mom alone at home.

cūnzi lǐ de nián qīng rén dōu qù le chéng shì lǐ dǎ gōng, jiù shèng xià le gū dú de lǎo rén hé háizi men.

村子里的年轻人都去了城市里打工, 就剩下了孤独的老人和孩子们。 The young people in the village all left to work in the city. Only left the lonely old people and the children.

Use 4: connect two actions, one happens after another

Structure: Verb 1 + + Verb 2

frequent used word combinations: 一…就…: as soon as …

Examples:

wǒ yí shàng chuáng, mǎ shàng jiù shuì zháo le .

上床,马上睡着了.                     As soon as I went to bed, I immediately fell asleep.

tā yí shàng kè, jiù méi yǒu jīng shén.

上课,没有精神.                       As soon as the class starts, he becomes listless.

nǐ xiān qù wán ba, wǒ xiě wán zuò yè jiù qù zhǎo nǐ.

你先去玩吧,我写完作业去找你.     You go to have fun first. (As soon as) I finish homework, I’ll go look for you.

tā chī wán fàn jiù chū qù le.

他吃完饭出去了。                            He finished dinner then went out.

kàn dào nǐ zhè me kuài lè, wǒ jiù fàng xīn le.

看到你这么快乐,我放心了。           Seeing you this happy, I feel relieved.

bié wèn wǒ, nǐ qù kàn le jiù zhī dào le.

别问我,你去看了知道了。               Don’t ask me. You go see and then you’ll know.

nǐ dào jiā yǐ hòu,jiù gěi wǒ dǎ diàn huà.

你到家以后,就给我打电话。               After you arrive home then call me.

Use 5: Connect two actions: one happens as a result of another

frequent used word combinations:

如果: if .. then…

既然: since … then…

因为: because of… then…

就算…: even if …

Examples:

rú guǒ shuì mián bú zú, dì èr tiān jiù bú huì yǒu jīng shén.

如果睡眠不足,第二天就不会有精神.            If no sufficient sleep, (people) will not feel energetic the next day.

rú guǒ nǐ bù shū fu, jiù qù kàn yī shēng.

如果你不舒服,就去看医生。                         If you don’t feel well, then go see a doctor.

rú guǒ míng tiān xià yǔ, wǒmen jiù bú qù dǎ lán qiú.

如果明天下雨,我们就不去打篮球。              If it rains tomorrow, we will then not go playing basketball.

wǒ hàn yǔ shuō de hái bú tài hǎo. rú guǒ wǒ shuō cuò le, nǐ jiù gào sù wǒ.

我汉语说得还不太好。如果我说错了,你就告诉我。     I can’t speak Chinese very good yet. If I say it wrong, then you tell me.

jiù suàn nǐ bǎ wǒ guān qǐ lái, wǒ yě bú huì gào sù nǐ.

就算你把我关起来,我也不会告诉你.                          Even if you lock me up, I will not tell you.

jiù suàn suǒ yǒu rén dōu shuō wǒ bú huì chéng gōng, wǒ yě huì jiān chí dào dǐ.

就算所有人都说我不会成功,我也会坚持到底。          Even if everybody says I will not succeed, I will still persist to the end.

jì rán dà jiā dōu bù tóng yì, nà wǒ men jiù huàn gè fāng fǎ ba.

既然大家都不同意,那我们就换个方法吧。                 Since all don’t agree, then let’s change a way.

jì rán nǐ shuō de suàn, nà jiù tīng nǐ de ba.

既然你说的算,那就听你的吧。                                    Since your words count, then (we) will listen to you.

yīn wéi cuò guò le gōng jiāo chē, tā jiù chí dào le bàn gè xiǎo shí.

因为错过了公交车,他就迟到了半个小时。                  Because he missed the bus, he was late for half an hour.

yīn wéi tū rán xià qǐ yǔ lái, wài miàn de yī fu jiù dōu lín shī le.

因为突然下起雨来,外面的衣服就都淋湿了。              Because it rained suddenly, the clothes outside all were wet.

Exercises 练习

Translate the following English sentences into Chinese, with 就:

  1. Our school is right over there.
  2. If you follow this road, you will see that the building is right ahead.
  3. At 7 o’clock this morning, he has arrived.
  4. If you don’t believe me, then just go and ask him.
  5. Since everybody is here, we can start the discussion now.
  6. Because he had some urgent meetings, therefore he didn’t come yesterday.
  7. When he was just 12 years old, he went to US.
  8. Everybody brought their books, just he didn’t.
  9. Without water, we will not be able to survive.
  10. As soon as the class is over, he went back home.
  11. Even if you may lose, we will still support you.
  12. The winter is over. The spring is about to come.
  13. The rain has already stopped by 8am.
  14. My grandpa has a good lifestyle. Every day after dinner, he would go and take a walk.
  15. Show me and then I’ll believe you.
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