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  1. #1
    optimistic pessimist is offline Member
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    Default the nuance of "just the first step"

    Dear all,

    "Today's hearing was just the first step in the legislation process."

    In the sentence above, does just mean only, or exactly?

    If it's only, the sentence sounds negative to me because it seems to mean "it's only the first step. Long way to go."

    However, if it's exactly, there seems to be no negative implication. It seems that exactly only emphasizes the fact that the hearing was the first step.

    Thank you"

    OP



    OP

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: the nuance of "just the first step"

    Quote Originally Posted by optimistic pessimist View Post
    Dear all,

    "Today's hearing was just the first step in the legislation process."

    In the sentence above, does just mean only, or exactly?

    If it's only, the sentence sounds negative to me because it seems to mean "it's only the first step. Long way to go."

    However, if it's exactly, there seems to be no negative implication. It seems that exactly only emphasizes the fact that the hearing was the first step.

    Thank you"

    OP



    OP
    I would read it as "only" but it doesn't suggest negativity to me. It is simply saying that there are many steps to be taken and the first one has been taken. That seems like a good start!

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: the nuance of "just the first step"

    I don't see it as negative either- it will be a long struggle but it's moving in the right direction for the writer.

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