I recently posed the following question on Facebook: “What word(s) do you repeat too often in writing and/or dialogue?” One word that appeared numerous times in the thread was just.
There are just so many ways to replace just that I just decided to write a post filled with just alternatives just for all the writers who are just flabbergasted by the glut of just repetitions in their WIPs.
If you had a laugh attack when you read the previous paragraph, you’ll understand why people snicker — or sometimes discontinue reading a book — when they encounter similar passages.
Like many words in the English language, the adverb just comes with several meanings, each with its own connotations.
The following words and phrases can replace most occurrences.
Just, as in barely:
hardly, scarcely, slightly
Just, as in exactly:
absolutely, accurately, altogether, closely, completely, correctly, entirely, in all respects, in every respect, in every way, perfectly, precisely, quite, thoroughly, totally, unerringly, utterly, wholly
Just, as in only:
barely, merely, simply, solely, purely
Just, as in recently:
a minute ago, a moment ago, a second ago, a short time ago, freshly, in the past few minutes, in recent times, lately, of late, not long ago
Just, as in simply:
absolutely, altogether, clearly, completely, definitely, emphatically, entirely, exactly, indeed, merely, nothing but, perfectly, positively, precisely, purely, quite, really, solely, specifically, totally, truly.
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