How to say “just” in Portuguese

How to say “just” in Portuguese

When studying a language, it is common to find yourself focusing your vocabulary efforts mostly on nouns and verbs. While nouns and verbs are essential, it is important not to forget about learning the other parts of speech that can really enhance your fluency and make the way you speak sound more natural. Today, we will take a look at four different meanings for our English word “just” depending on context and how to express them in Portuguese.

I just woke up.

In this example, “just” means something that happened very recently. When we want to convey this meaning in Portuguese, we use the simple past form of the verb “acabar de”

Eu acabei de acordar.  (I just woke up.)

Ela acabou de tomar um banho. (She just took a bath.)

Nós acabamos de jantar agora. (We just finished having dinner now.)

Eles acabaram de sair do trabalho. (They just left work.)

I just wanted to tell you how much I love you.

In this example, “just” takes on the meaning of “only”. In Portuguese, we use the word “apenas”.

Eu apenas queria te contar o quanto eu te amo. (I just wanted to tell you how much I love you.)

Aquela camisa custa apenas dez dólares! (That shirt costs just ten dollars!)

Temos apenas cinco minutos para sair de casa. (We have just five minutes to leave the house.)

She knows just what she wants

In this third example, “just” means “exactly”! In this case, we will use the Portuguese word for “exactly” – exatamente.

Ela sabe exatamente o que ela quer. (She knows just what she wants.)

Você veio exatamente na hora certa. (You came at just the right time.)

It was a just decision.

Lastly, we look at “just” being used as an adjective to mean “fair”. In Portuguese, the word is “justo”. It is important to remember that this word has four different forms depending on gender and plurality – justo, justa, justos, justas. 

Foi uma decisão justa. (It was a just decision.)

Ele é um homem justo. (He is a just man.)

As leis daquele país não são justas. (The laws of that country are not just.)

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