‘Just’ is another of those pesky little words that we often slip into sentences, without realising, how it changes what we are saying.

Common uses of the word ‘just’

  • I’m just checking in to see if
  • I’m just following up
  • It’s just a small amount
  • I was just wondering if
  • I just wanted to know
  • I just wanted to remind you
  • I was just doing this because
  • I just want some clarification
  • I just need a word with you
  • I just need a few minutes


When you use the word ‘just’

  • In an email it tells the reader that, what ever you were emailing the person about is insignificant.
  • It makes you sound apologetic about what you are saying.
  • It minimises whatever it follows.
  • It undermines what is being said.
  • Is used to soften a request.
  • It sends a signal that yours or someone else’s work isn’t valuable and can leave people feeling unappreciated.
  • It tells the person being asked to do something, that what is being asked of them is not difficult.
  • Closes the door on further discussion.
  • It down plays achievement.
  • Stops you from being taken seriously.


When you don’t use ‘Just’

It’s as easy as taking the word out, there is no need to add another word in its place. By doing so your sentences will be clear in direction and carry strength.


Do you use the word Just?

Jenni XXX

  • Sue Loncaric

    Oh I am so guilty! I do use this word and cringe everytime I do. I agree with every reason you have written about why we shouldn’t use this word (which I’m not mentioning in this comment LOL:)) Thanks for the reminder. Now everytime I use it I will think of your post.
    Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond

    • Hopefully, you will stop yourself before you use it. Then before you know it, the word will have vanished from your universe.

  • I certainly do use it – but just occasionally…sorry, I couldn’t resist…and when it comes to business emails, always if I’m deliberately attempting to soften a request. Used extremely sparingly (and with the right audience) it helps me get the outcome I want.

    • I’m sure you could find another word to use, that will achieve the same or better results?

  • I use it sparingly as in my, ahem, older years I believe I am more proactive. However, it can be a helpful lead-in to a conversation at time. One of mine I have to reduce is “do you remember” ..I say it far too much. Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek 46/52. Next Week: The View From Here. I see it as a visual prompt easing into 2018 “Share Your Snaps” every 5 weeks.

  • LydiaCLee

    Will have to watch and see. Interesting.

  • Oh dear! I use the word ‘just’ quite a lot! Including in my business emails. Now that my attention has been drawn to the connotations of using this word I will take it out. It probably is a lack of confidence word for me to use and downplaying my achievements.


    • Ingrid, stand tall and be proud of who you are, even if you have to fake it until you start believing it yourself. Business emails would be a great place to start, they will have no idea that you are shaking in your boots, when you send it.

  • Kathy Marris

    Guilty! I do overuse this word and it makes sense to me now why. I use it to soften the message I’m trying to get across so that I don’t offend anyone. Thanks for pointing this out. #TeamLovinLife

  • writeofthemiddle

    OMG you’re right – you can take the word out and the sentence still makes sense and is stronger! I’m afraid I do use the word just way too much! #TeamLovinLife

  • Oh I absolutely use it. And worse! I’m a huge apologiser and over-explainer and really need to be more assertive in general. I think I can be – in the workplace and in certain situations…. but when it’s about me (personally) I struggle! #teamlovinlife

  • You are so right here – and yet it’s still a word I use all the time!

  • You’re so right Jenni. I’ll “just” make a note to remove it from my vocabulary! 😀 x #TeamLovinLife

  • Oops! I do use the word “just”. There are many words I don’t use, but I’ve not thought about “just” to be honest. Shit. Another word to remove from my vocab …