JUST + preposition

And just by bad luckhe did it to you.

listen to the pronunciation in context

In the sentence above, the word “just” is used to modify the preposition “by”. Here, “just” is an adverb that is used to emphasize that something happens or is the case by a very small margin or degree.

When “just” is used with prepositions like “by”, it often conveys a sense of something happening due to a small, often unexpected, factor or cause. In this case, “just by bad luck” suggests that the action (he did it to you) occurred solely or purely due to bad luck, and not because of any other factors.

So, in this context, “just” is emphasizing the role of bad luck in the occurrence of the action. It’s suggesting that the action happened by a very narrow margin, specifically due to bad luck.

Here are student examples of ‘just’ pre-modifying a prepositional phrase.

I was a shy girl and sometimes I was just like a boy.

TLC, speaking test, female China B1

Here, “just” is used to indicate that the comparison is exact or very close. It’s emphasizing that sometimes the speaker’s behavior, feelings, or experiences were exactly or very much like those typically associated with boys.

So, in this context, “just” is highlighting the degree of similarity between the speaker and a boy. It’s suggesting that at times, the speaker felt or behaved exactly or very much like a boy.

Some successful people are well-known just in their country.

PELIC, female Arabic level 4 writing class.

The word “just” is used as an adverb to limit or restrict the scope of the phrase “well-known”.  Here, “just” is emphasizing that these successful people are well-known or recognized only within the boundaries of their own country. It implies that despite their success, their fame or recognition has not extended beyond their country’s borders.

So, in this context, “just” is used to indicate limitation or restriction. It’s suggesting that the fame or recognition of these successful people is confined or limited to their own country.

An iWeb corpus search for:

just_R _II

1 JUST LIKE 495187
2 JUST IN 139921
3 JUST BEFORE 128761
4 JUST BY 84874

Here are the rest of the prepositions after ‘just’ in order of frequency and tagged by CEFR level by text inspector: 

5 AFTER 60311 6 OUTSIDE 53694 7 TO 50799 8 AS 48784 9 ON 46231 10 ABOVE 40996 11 OFF 40879 12 BELOW 39731 13 AROUND 34462 14 OVER 32070 15 FROM 31892 16 AT 25392 17 BECAUSE 22818 18 UNDER 20685 19 OUT 20145 20 BEHIND 17994 21 PRIOR 15796 22 ACROSS 12511 23 INSIDE 11005 24 PAST 10981 25 BEYOND 10870 26 DOWN 9465 27 AHEAD 7181 28 UP 4991 29 THROUGH 4891 30 BENEATH 4267 31 WITHIN 4057 32 POST 3618 33 BETWEEN 3488 34 DUE 3111 35 ABOUT 2995 36 DURING 2574 37 NEXT 2298 38 INTO 1743 39 UNDERNEATH 1415 40 BESIDE 1232 41 AGAINST 1145 42 ROUND 1081 43 NEAR 965 44 AMONG 958 45 ALONG 930 46 OPPOSITE 703 47 WORTH 514 48 RE 460 49 INCLUDING 378 50 DEPENDING 350 51 VIA 341 52 SINCE 319 53 CONSIDERING 275 54 UPON 261 55 TOWARDS 258 56 ADJACENT 253 57 ACCORDING 186 58 AWAY 185 59 TOWARD 135 60 MINUS 133 61 AMONGST 126 62 THROUGHOUT 125 63 WITH 123 64 SUCH 123 65 PRE 110 66 REGARDING 96 67 PER 96 68 TILL 94 69 ONTO 91 70 INSTEAD 85

We have a little room, 

just through there,

 precisely for that purpose

for people to make sure.


The phrase “through there” refers to a specific direction or location that the speaker is likely pointing to or has previously mentioned or described.

So, “just through there” means that the room is located exactly in the direction or location being indicated. It’s a way of saying that the room is very close by, in the exact direction pointed out.


Where do I check in?
It‘s just over there.


Unlisted idiom:

No, that was just off the top of my head.


So, in this context, “just” is emphasizing the spontaneity and immediacy of the thought or idea. It’s suggesting that the speaker came up with it on the spot, without prior preparation or thought.