Expressing "just now" with "gangcai"

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In order to say that something "just now" occurred, use the time noun 刚才 (gāngcái). It can be placed in front of the verb or the subject of a statement.


This grammar structure is pretty straightforward. Similar to the English "just now," you can put 刚才 (gāngcái) right before the verb in a sentence. It can also come before or after the subject.

刚才 + Verb


  • 刚才 什么 了?gāngcái shuō shénme le? What did you just say?
  • 刚才 了?Gāngcái shéi lái le? Who came just now?
  • 刚才 哪儿 了?Gāngcái nǎr le? Where did you go just now?
  • 刚才 洗手间 了。Gāngcái xǐshǒujiān le.I just went to the restroom.
  • 老板 刚才 生气 了。Lǎobǎn gāngcái shēngqì le.The boss just got angry.
  • 你们 刚才 什么?Nǐmen gāngcái zài kàn shénme? What were you looking at just now?
  • 不好意思,我 刚才 出去 了。Bù hǎoyìsi, wǒ gāngcái chūqù le.I'm sorry, I just now stepped out.
  • 宝宝 刚才 了。Bǎobao gāngcái le.The baby just cried.
  • 他们 刚才开会 了。Tāmen gāngcáikāihuì le.They just went to a meeting.
  • 刚才 有 人 你。Gāngcái yǒu rén zhǎo nǐ.Just now, there was someone looking for you.

Note that for all of those cases, we're talking about something that happened just now, as in, within the past 5 minutes or so. If you're talking about something that "just happened" yesterday or last week, don't use 刚才 (gāngcái), use 刚 (gāng).

See also

Sources and further reading