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I had just arrived at the hotel, checked in and gotten into my room.

here, the reason we say "had arrived" is because we want to show the order, the series of actions, right? So arriving at the hotel happened first, and then checking and getting into took place later.

And why we say "just" is because we want to say the actions happened with a little time gap.

Am I right to think this way?

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It's correct. It's a narrative talking about an event that happened in the past, so you use "had arrived". Then you add "just" to emphasize that it happened at the exact moment.

  • thank you so much, but what do you mean by at the exact moment? they(arriving, checking in, getting into) happened at the same time? I thought arriving happened first and only a short time after that, checking in and getting into happened. – jihoon Sep 3 '18 at 4:58
  • @jihoon Just does not mean "at the exact moment." It means in the very immediate past. And, based on context, it can actually mean a large amount of objective time. (In the history of the Earth, humans had just formed societies and developed space travel . . .) But in your example sentence, yes. It means that within a short period of time in the past (likely only the total amount of time it took you), you had done all of those things. – Jason Bassford Sep 3 '18 at 5:07

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