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Expressing "just" with "gang"

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For events that happened in the immediate past, in English we use the word "just." For example, if you pass a turn you were supposed to make, you might say, "I just passed it!" In Chinese, "just" can be expressed with 刚 (gāng) or 刚刚 (gānggāng).

Expressing "Just" Happened

Structure

刚 (gāng) expresses an action that happened not long ago. 刚刚 (gānggāng) is used the same way, with the same meaning.

Subj. + 刚 + Verb

or

Subj. + 刚刚 + Verb

Examples

  • 我们 知道。Wǒmen gāng zhīdào.We just found out.
  • 她们 走。Tāmen gāng zǒu.They just left.
  • 老板 刚刚 到 办公室。 Lǎobǎn gānggāng dào bàngōngshì.The boss just arrived at the office.
  • 我 老婆 生 完 孩子。Wǒ lǎopo gāng shēng wán háizi.My wife just finished giving birth to our baby.
  • 刚刚 下班 吗?gānggāng xiàbān ma? Did you just get off work?

"Just" Within a Specific Time Period

This more complicated use of 刚 (gāng) is not nearly as essential as the one above, but you may find it useful to specify just when the event "just" occurred, specifically.

Structure

刚 (gāng) can also express "from the time an action happens until the present time."

Subj. + 刚 + Verb (+ Obj.) + Duration

Note that although we need to say "ago" in English, in this pattern there's no need for a word that means "ago."

Examples

  • 认识 她 十 天gāng rènshi tā shí tiān.I just met her ten days ago.
  • 来 中国 两 个 月gāng lái Zhōngguó liǎng gè yuè.He just got to China two months ago.
  • 我 弟弟 工作 半年Wǒ dìdi gāng gōngzuò bàn nián .My younger brother just started working half a year ago.
  • 结婚 三 个 月 gāng jiéhūn sān gè yuè.She just got married three months ago.
  • 我 的 车 两 天,开 的时候 小心 点。Wǒ de chē gāng mǎi liǎng tiān, kāi de shíhou xiǎoxīn diǎn.I just bought the car two days ago. Be careful when you drive.

See also

Sources and further reading

Books