Lesson Transcript

Hi, everybody. My name is Alisha. In this lesson, I'm going to talk about how to use the word, "just" to talk about actions that are going to happen in the future very, very soon. Let's get started. In this lesson, though, I'm going to use a timeline to show actions that start or are going to start in the future, the very recent future, and actions which, perhaps, have already started but are going to finish in the very near future. I'm going to do this by explaining two, maybe, common patterns that we can use with "just" to explain these sorts of events. Before I start that, though, I do want to just do a quick reminder about the word "just." We use the word "just," as I'm going to explain in these example sentences, as an emphasis word. We use it to emphasize an activity or an action that's very, very close to the present time. Something that could be in the past or something that could be in the future. We can use "just" for both of these. In this lesson, I'm going to focus on actions that are in the future.
Let's begin with the first example pattern. The first pattern that I have here is a subject plus a version of the verb "to be" plus the word "just," and then "about." "About" is going to give us even more emphasis about something that's going to happen in the future, very, very near to the future. Then, we follow this with a "to" form of the verb or the infinitive form of the verb "to" plus the verb. Finally, we'll end the sentence with any extra information that you may need to include. Let's look at a couple of examples of this pattern. The first one, "We are just about to leave the house." Here, my subject is "we," my "be" verb is "are," in this case to match the subject. Here, the same pattern, "just about to," and then my verb here is "leave." "Just about to leave the house." In this situation, we, the people in the subject of the sentence, are very, very soon going to leave the house. This is an action that's going to happen soon. "We are just about to leave the house." Here, we pair "just" with "about" before the verb. Let's look at another example. Here, my subject is "she." She is, in this case, is. "Is" the form of the "be" verb. "She is just about to start the meeting." In this case, the meeting is going to start very soon in the future. One more example sentence. "I am," in this case "am" is my "be" verb. "I am just about to have dinner." This means in the very near future, I am going to have dinner. Each of these sentences communicates an action that has not started yet, but in the very near future it's going to start or it's going to happen. On a timeline, we can imagine if this is the present point here in the middle and this is my future, we can imagine that these actions are going to happen very, very soon in the future. Something that's going to start soon, an action that's going to occur soon, we can use this kind of pattern to talk about that.
Let's take a look at the second pattern that I prepared. This one is perhaps a little bit less common than this pattern, but I want to introduce it for a couple of different reasons. Let's take a look at the pattern first. Similar to the first pattern, we have the subject of the sentence plus be plus "just." However, after this "just," I have the "-ing" form of the verb. This is the continuous form or the progressive form of the verb. Following that, we have just any extra information you may need to communicate. Let's take a look at a few examples here. Actually, I've just changed these sentences into this pattern here. Again, we have this "we are," just as I did here. "We are," in this case, "just," plus my verb, my "to" verb from this sentence, "to leave" becomes "leaving" in the continuous tense. "We are just leaving the house" is my first pattern. This sentence actually shows that perhaps the speaker was already in the action, was already in the process of leaving the house. However, the action is not yet complete. Let's look at another example though. "She is just starting the meeting here." Again, my first sentence in this pattern was, "She is just about to start the meeting," meaning it's going to start in the future. Here, "she is just starting the meeting" shows maybe she, in the sentence the subject, has just recently, very, very recently started the process of the meeting, and she is maybe doing introductory remarks in this case, or introducing the agenda. She's in the process of beginning the meeting, but that beginning process is not finished yet. Let's look at one more example. "I am just having dinner." Here, I had "to have," in the first pattern. In this sentence, with the progressive or the continuous tense, I have "having" here. I'm just having dinner. In other words, I'm probably in the process of eating right now but I am not finished yet. The difference between this pattern and this pattern is that these actions have already started but they are not quite finished yet, rather they're going to be finished in the near future. This is kind of the nuance of this grammar. To visualize this a little bit differently from our first pattern, we can imagine that these are actions which in the present, at the point in time when the speaker explains things, the actions are in progress at this point in time, however, they are not finished yet. In the future, however, in the near future, they're going to be finished. This is the difference between these two. One action, as in the first pattern we looked at, is going to happen in the near future. One action down here, in the second pattern, is already in progress but it's going to finish in the near future. This is a very, very small difference, I think, but if you like, if you want to emphasize that something is already happening, you can use the progressive form to do that.
I have a couple of quick summaries of each of these points that you can consider. Point one is for near future actions. It's going to start and maybe finish in the near future. The second one is for actions that have started and will complete in the near future. Some of you might be wondering what about using past tense, like the verb, "be" here, I've used the present tense here. What about using past tense, or how do I talk about something that already started or something that was in the past. I'll explain that in a separate lesson, in a different lesson. So, please keep an eye out for that. But if you want to talk about actions that are going to start soon or that have already started and are going to finish soon, you can try using one of these patterns to explain that. Just a few points and a few patterns for how you can use "just" to explain actions that are coming up.
I hope that this lesson was useful for you. Thanks very much for watching this video. I will see you again next time. Bye, bye.


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