Expressing "just now" with "gangcai"
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
- 你 刚才 说 什么 了？What did you just say?
- 刚才 谁 来 了？Who came just now?
- 刚才 你 去 哪儿 了？Where did you go just now?
- 刚才 我 去 洗手间 了。I just went to the restroom.
- 老板 刚才 生气 了。The boss just got angry.
- 你们 刚才 在 看 什么？What were you looking at just now?
- 不好意思，我 刚才 出去 了。I'm sorry, I just now stepped out.
- 宝宝 刚才 哭 了。The baby just cried.
- 他们 刚才 去 开会 了。They just went to a meeting.
- 刚才 有 人 找 你。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).
- Comparing "gang" and "gangcai"
- Explaining results with "suoyi"
- Cause and effect with "yinwei" and "suoyi"
- Stating the effect before the cause (advanced article)
Sources and further reading
- 现代汉语八百词（增订本） (pp. 217) [ →buy]