Expressing "just" with "gang"
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
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
Subj. + 刚刚 + Verb
- 我们 刚 知道。We just found out.
- 她们 刚 走。They just left.
- 老板 刚刚 到 办公室。The boss just arrived at the office.
- 我 老婆 刚 生 完 孩子。My wife just finished giving birth to our baby.
- 你 刚刚 下班 吗？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.
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."
- 我 刚 认识 她 十 天。I just met her ten days ago.
- 他 刚 来 中国 两 个 月。He just got to China two months ago.
- 我 弟弟 刚 工作 半年。My younger brother just started working half a year ago.
- 她 刚 结婚 三 个 月 。 She just got married three months ago.
- 我 的 车 刚 买 两 天，开 的时候 小心 点。I just bought the car two days ago. Be careful when you drive.
Sources and further reading
- HSK Standard Course 4上 (pp. 6) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy
- 现代汉语八百词（增订本） (pp. 216) [ →buy]
- 卓越汉语－公司实战篇 (pp. 239) 卓越汉语－公司实战篇 →buy
- Chinese: An Essential Grammar, Second Edition (pp. 81) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy