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  • If only I were a -- oh, hi. Sorry, I was just looking at a picture. I'll put that away.

  • If you've been to Toronto and you know Now magazine, and you know the back of Now magazine

  • -- I'm a bad, bad putty cat. Anyway, this lesson is about "only" and "just". I'm going

  • to give you two more words that we also use, but specifically "only" and "just". Why? Because

  • in English, these two words are used interchangeably. "Interchange" means "to change things", like

  • you take this one, you take that one: Change them in different places. All right. Between.

  • Because they have similar meanings, it's interchangeable. It doesn't matter that much. This lesson is

  • for -- in case you were bothered by that -- it's our special guy -- it's like the Oscars here

  • -- Allan from the Philippines wrote to us on Facebook, and I wrote it on my Chapters

  • receipt. Anyway, Allan wanted to know what is the difference, and when do you use them.

  • So why don't we go to the board and take a look.

  • Ah, Mr. E is here before me. I like making things rhyme. And Mr. E is saying, "James

  • merely has to do 1 lesson and he barely got it on the board. If only I were the teacher".

  • Now, if you read this, there seems to be a limitation or a limit to something. Right.

  • "Merely" means, like, just a small amount. "Barely": also small. And "only": seemingly

  • small. What's the difference? Let's go to the board.

  • "Just": "I'm just a gigolo, everywhere I go". David Lee, I'm stealing your stuff. Don't

  • sue me. Okay. When we say "just", we use usually -- in English, it means "exactly", "just".

  • "Just five people". "Just to the city", exactly. I'm lying a little bit. We also have "just",

  • and it can be used a little bit like "not that much". Right. "It's just two of us coming

  • for dinner." Not many of us. Exactly two, and it's not a lot. So you have to listen

  • to the context. Okay. When you hear "just", people are saying "exactly", and in some ways

  • they're saying, "and it's not a lot of stuff". Okay. "It's just two dollars". Well how much

  • is it exactly? Well it's two dollars. We don't need to say "just". We say it to say, "it's

  • not that much, relax". It's a tooney. All right. Go to Tim Hortons. Get your tooney,

  • which is two dollars. "It's just two dollars" -- not that much, and an exact amount.

  • There's another use for "just", okay? And it doesn't follow what the other words we're

  • going to do, but you should hear it or know what it means because it's used a lot for

  • law: "just". It's short for "justice". If something is not fair or not right, not correct,

  • we'll say it is "not just" -- older English. You'll hear it in law, but you won't really

  • hear people say it on the street. "It is not just. I did not get milk with my cookies!"

  • You know, but in a court case they'll go, "We need to be more just in our society",

  • or in university. So you'll see here: "it's not a just decision" -- it's not fair! It's

  • not right, it's not morally right. Morals, you know, like lying and stealing and cheating.

  • "He should go back to court." You hear it in court, okay?

  • I know you see "merely", but it will be merely a moment before we come back. We have to go

  • here. First the big guys, then the little guys. I said we'd start with "just", now we're

  • going to go to "only". Okay? "Only" has an adverb usage, and it means "limited to". "Only":

  • "Limited to a certain extent". And our example here: "There are only 100 tigers alive." It's

  • limited, right? Adjective use, adjective. "One of a kind". "Only one of a kind", right?

  • "He is an only child". It describes the child. How -- what kind of child? He's an "only"

  • child, like a "big child", a "small child", an "only child". Another use for it: a conjunction.

  • Okay. It's common. You may not see it as such because we use "and" a lot, but we use it

  • because we have this meaning of "limited to" -- I'm going really fast, so I'll slow down

  • so that not only I can understand myself, okay? "Limited to" plus "one of a kind". In

  • this case, it's not just "and", it's an exception, "except that". So we're saying the idea may

  • be similar, but there is a difference. So it's really useful when you're using your

  • English: a conjunction that gives you an exception. Nice, huh? And you thought it was "just" little

  • English we were doing or "only" English. In this case, I would say, she's like my girlfriend,

  • only better. You know, because, like, she's a girlfriend, and she's better, right? "Except

  • that". So that's how we use "only" and "just", okay? Those are the big guns, you know. Those

  • are the ones we use a lot. Now, we do have another one: "barely". "Barely"

  • also -- similarly -- or -- to "only" -- has an adverb use, and it means "only just" or

  • "almost not". Okay. What? Because we're using "only" here, right? Remember "limited to"

  • -- it has that idea -- and "almost not". Very close to not happening. So when you see "barely",

  • it almost has a negative thing, yeah, okay? "I barely have enough money for food." Almost

  • not enough money for food, all right? If the food is a hundred, maybe I have $100 and one

  • penny, one cent. One cent less or two cents less: no food for me. Okay. But it also has

  • another meaning: "a short time before". When someone says "barely" -- okay. This is good.

  • At work, sometimes I barely make it on time. If you talk to Mr. E, he goes, "You never

  • make it on time. Stop lying to the people. You're always late". Okay. But we're not talking

  • to Mr. E. He's busy complaining about something else. But sometimes I barely make it because

  • of the TTC. Anybody who's been to Toronto knows exactly what I mean. Hear that sound?

  • That's the police arresting another TTC driver for making Toronto citizens late. Anyway.

  • Okay. It means, you know, "a short time before", "a short time before". In this case, we have,

  • "They had barely escaped before the fire started", which means they got out of the door -- every

  • movie you've ever seen, you know, the guy jumps, and then the fire starts. Right. So

  • you're like, "aah". They "barely" escaped before the fire started, so "just" before

  • that. Cool. I said three words: one, two, three, but there

  • seems to be another one. If you're like me, and you want to be a bit of an ass -- oops,

  • I said it -- which would be a guy who wants to act big -- I don't -- but if you want to,

  • once in a while, impress your friends and your peers -- peers are people similar to

  • yourself in age, or education or position -- you can use "merely". "Merely" is "just/only".

  • Now you understand why I put it last, after, because you had to know "just" and "only"

  • to understand "merely". See, it was a -- there was a reason. "Merely" can mean "just", and

  • it means, in this case -- we say "just", "not that much", or --where was the other one -- yeah,

  • "not that much", or "exactly", in this case, "exactly". He is "merely" a child. He's a

  • child. That's it. "How can he do this, this Superman? He is merely a mortal". He's not

  • a mortal, he's Superman, okay? And then sometimes "merely" means "only", "only", right? "Limited

  • to", in this case. "I merely looked at his face, and it broke." No, I'm joking. Like,

  • sometimes you're, you know, looking at something, and you just touch it, and it breaks, and

  • you're like, "I didn't do it. I touched it. It broke. What am I supposed to do?" All right.

  • You could say, "I merely touched it. That's all I did. It was limited to a touch. It broke,

  • and it's not my fault". Okay. Or you could say, "he's merely an idiot". That's it folks.

  • Sorry, you shouldn't say that, but you could say that -- a nice insult.

  • But a quick recap, as we always do. Okay. "Just": What does "just" mean? "Not that much"

  • or "exactly". Sometimes the meanings go together, right? "It's just five minutes to my house".

  • It's exactly five minutes, and it's not that much. The two ideas go together. Okay. A little

  • bit more. "Only": "Only" means "limited to". It has an adjective function, adverb, and

  • conjunction function. "Barely", we got "barely": "only just" or "almost not". And finally,

  • "merely", which is "just" or "only". Was that good? Did you like it? I know, a little fast.

  • You're going to go where? To -- I know you're going to go there. You have to. It is not

  • merely a website. It is not only a website where you can learn English, it's just the

  • right place for you, see? Exactly, exactly. And where are you going to go, Mr. E? Sorry,

  • there's not going to be a mystery here. I have to write it. You're going to go to www.engvid.com

  • -- where "eng" stands for "English", and "vid" stands for "video" - www.engvid.com. Okay.

  • It's just a click away. And the price is free. Just free. It's good right? You won't be the

  • only one there. I promise.

If only I were a -- oh, hi. Sorry, I was just looking at a picture. I'll put that away.

Subtitles and vocabulary

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A2 US barely limited child case adverb toronto

Vocabulary: ONLY, JUST, BARELY, MERELY

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    Lynn posted on 2014/07/01
Video vocabulary