How to say “JUST” in Italian [Ep. 01]

By Manu Venditti | All Levels

May 31

Daniel from Hong Kong asks:
How do I say "JUST" in Italian? 


As in "I'm just going to the shops" or "I just wanna give you a hug"?

Depending on the meaning we are looking for, we can translate the English "Just" in mainly two ways:

With the meaning of "only this, nothing else"

  • SOLO
  • SOLTANTO
  • SOLAMENTE
  • GIUSTO

Solo, solamente and soltanto are basically interchangeable. Giusto can also be used, but it tends to sound more casual and conversational.

Possible ways to say "just" in Italian (meaning "only this, nothing else"): SOLO, SOLTANTO, SOLAMENTE, GIUSTO!

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Some examples

VADO SOLO AL BAR
I am just going to the bar (that’s basically all I’m doing)

VADO SOLAMENTE AL BAR E TORNO
I’m just going to the bar (and I’ll be back soon)

VADO SOLTANTO AL BAR E TORNO
I’m just going to the bar (and I’ll be back soon)

VADO GIUSTO AL BAR E TORNO
I’m just going to the bar (and I’ll be back soon) – slightly more colloquial

VOGLIO SOLO DARTI UN ABBRACCIO
I just want to give you a hug

VOGLIO GIUSTO DARTI UN ABBRACCIO
I just want to give you a hug – slightly more colloquial

TI HO PORTATO GIUSTO UN PENSIERINO
I’ve just brought you a little something (as a present).
Here “just” means “only”.

BUT...

A completely different meaning of the English “Just” can be found when we speak in the past.
When what we are trying to say is that “we’ve just done something” we mean that it just happened. As in… not long ago.
When you mean this, in Italian we use a totally different word.

With the meaning of "just now, not long ago"

  • APPENA

Always used with a past tense

Possible ways to say "just" in Italian (meaning "just now, not long ago"): APPENA

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Some examples

HO APPENA COMPRATO UNA MACCHINA
I’ve just bought a car (as in, not long ago)

TI HO APPENA VISTO
I’ve just seen you (as in, just now, not long ago)

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