I entered the class and said "Hello" to everybody. At this time/ At the moment / At the same time/ suddenly / meanwhile a student asked out load "Sorry! are you going to teach a new course today"

Maybe it wasn't a good example. But I want to know what English use when they want to say at the same time (immediately after or during) another thing, something else happened? I mean when they narrate something maybe as a narrating device.

The literal translation of what I mean is "at this time" or "at this moment", but I'm not sure about their similar usage in English. When these phrases are used by the way?

  • I'm sure you know then. But it's unclear whether you want a word/phrase for "something that happens immediately after another thing" as mentioned the title or a word/phrase for "at the same time (immediately after or during) another thing" as mentioned in your question (in which case, now might do). Dec 27, 2016 at 7:23
  • All of the answers are good. It really depends on the style of writing you are doing. In some instances, a lot of (technically non-correct but effective) punctuation could be used. Some constructions are more formal and exact, and some constructions are more 'loosey-goosey" and reflective of actual spoken words.
    – Msfolly
    Sep 16, 2018 at 15:16

4 Answers 4


There are several ways of expressing something quickly happening right after something else, in decreasing order of quickness

We entered the house and immediately it started to rain.

There was a loud thunder clap and suddenly it started to rain.

just then
The temperature dropped and just then the wind started to blow harder.

First we were outside, then we walked around, then it got colder, then the wind started blowing, then we ran to the house, then it stared to rain.

If more than one thing is happening at the same time then

We are inside the house while it was raining.

at the same time
We were inside the house and at the same time the dog was outside getting wet.

It was raining during the day time.

all the while
All the while it was raining, we watched TV.

  • Then what is the place of "at this time" or "at that point" I'm going to add that to my question.
    – Ahmad
    Dec 27, 2016 at 9:46

Also check out the word "simultaneously" which means "at the same time".

"John ran down road, simultaneously keeping an eye on the car parked conspicuously at the corner and the dog growling at him from the left."


You could say:

I entered the class and said "Hello" to everybody just as a student asked out loud "Sorry - are you going to teach a new course today?".

although I would prefer to phrase it this way:

I entered the class, and just as I said "hello" to everybody a student asked out loud "Sorry - are you going to teach a new course today?"

This second phrasing also conveys to me that you were the one interrupted.

I don't like "simultaneously" in this instance because it is too precise. You wan't to convey that you were interrupted by someone speaking at the same time, but it was not deliberately coordinated. You didn't start speaking at exactly the same millisecond, but perhaps without enough of a time difference to realise that the other was going to speak.

Similarly, I would not use "immediately" or "suddenly" because while these infer that the student's interjection was surprising and without delay, they do not explicitly mean that you were interrupted and that you spoke at the same time. In this instance I would take it that they spoke immediately after you finished speaking.


The idiom you seem to be looking for is just then.

Immortalised in:

Tweedledum and Tweedledee

Agreed to have a battle

For Tweedledum said Tweedledee

Had spoiled his nice new rattle

Just then flew down a monstrous crow,

As black as a tar-barrel

Which frightened both the heroes so

They quite forgot their quarrel

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