Difference between 'just' and 'only'


could anyone help me about just and only.

What is the difference between ‘just’ and ‘only’??

Does it depend on the situation?


Hi testtest

The two words have a variety of usages and various different meanings.

My suggestion:
Compare the dictionary definitions. If that doesn’t clear everything up, then post a another question about the specific usage that you need more input about. In order to get specific feedback, you could write and post a few sentences of your own using just/only as you understand the usage(s).


I checked that online dictionary.

Even though there are various meanings for just and only, I still stick with the similar meanings.

For example, ‘It is just a table.’ versus ‘It is only a table.’
‘just a scratch.’ versus ‘only a scratch.’(picked up from that online dictionary)
‘room for only one passenger’ versus ‘room for just one passenger’
‘only just saw them’ versus ‘just only saw them’

Technically, what are those differences.

Thanx Yankee.

Hi testtest,

As Amy has already explained, the use of these two words and their meaning depend very much on the contexts in which they are used.

If I attempted to make a distinction (and probably was then found to have missed something), I would point towards exclusivity for only and simplicity for just.

To quote from one of your examples:

you could refer to my distinction as follows: only a scratch indicates that’s solely what it was - it wasn’t a serious injury just a scratch suggests that it was simply a scratch and that’s all you can call it.


Excuse my fussy, Alan

Could you tell me what is the difference between ‘I only just saw them’ and ‘I just only saw them’. The first sentence is picked from that online dictionary. I am just wondering what if I say the second sentence. Same?

Thanx Alan

Hi testtest

No, only just can only be used exactly that way. You can’t reverse the two words.