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  1. Senior Member
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    #1

    just at the beginning of the sentence

    Hi,

    1- Only Nick noticed her standing in the door.
    2- Only a few people came to watch the concert.

    I'd like to ask if I can use 'just' instead of 'only' at the beginning of the sentence.

    1- Just Nick noticed her standing in the door.
    2- Just a few people came to watch the concert.

    Do they sound weird or wrong?

    Thanks.

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    #2

    Re: just at the beginning of the sentence

    The second number one doesn't work. Number two is fine. I can't think of a way to explain why.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. Senior Member
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    #3

    Re: just at the beginning of the sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    The second number one doesn't work. Number two is fine. I can't think of a way to explain why.
    That is what I think too. When I read the second two aloud, it does not sound weird to me. I don't know why but it is maybe because of 'a few'.

    Thanks for the answer.

  4. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: just at the beginning of the sentence

    It's not that just a few people works because of a few, but rather that we don't tend to use just + [name] in a sentence.

    It's okay to use that combination when it stands alone, but in a sentence it sounds a bit odd.

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    #5

    Re: just at the beginning of the sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    It's not that just a few people works because of a few, but rather that we don't tend to use just + [name] in a sentence.

    It's okay to use that combination when it stands alone, but in a sentence it sounds a bit odd.
    I don't think that explanation works: Nobody else was there — just Tim.
    I am not a teacher.

  6. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: just at the beginning of the sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    I don't think that explanation works: Nobody else was there — just Tim.
    I didn't explain what I meant very well at all. I was actually considering exactly this example.

    When I said "we don't tend to use it in a sentence", I really meant that we don't tend to use it in clause structure, i.e. as a subject or complement. The phrase just Tim in the example above is not grammatically part of the sentence, but instead works as a grammatically isolated noun phrase tagged to the sentence Nobody else was there. I don't know the correct terminology (or have a clear enough idea) to explain it any better, but I hope people understand what I mean.

    I think that's right, anyway, but I'll be delighted to hear a better explanation because this is an interesting question.

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