As we use the word just for recent past:

I've just arrived.

They just completed their task when the manager called.


Can I use just for recent future that is going to happen shortly? As in:

A: How far are you from the top of the hill?

B: I'm just getting to the top.

M: We are running late, you must complete it as soon as possible.

N: I'm just completing it.

X: When will the mechanic come?

Y: He is just arriving.

Are these sentences fine and idiomatic?

How do native speakers say these?

Thanks in advance.


I find absolutely no problem in using just in those contexts. In fact, nowhere I have come across any rule that you cannot use just for near future.

To quote from MM:

Reports are just arriving about the earthquake in Mexico.

  • Would you agree that another option for an immediate future reference is "almost"? I am almost done with the task, He is almost there, etc. – AIQ Sep 15 '19 at 5:50
  • 1
    Of course! The same goes with about to... – Maulik V Sep 15 '19 at 5:51
  • Recent future makes no sense. It should be near future. – Jason Bassford Sep 16 '19 at 4:35
  • Agreed...changed! @JasonBassford – Maulik V Sep 16 '19 at 5:04

For meaning 5 in the Oxford learner's dictionary, it's fine to use it with the present continuous as you did in all of your examples, and Maulik V did in his. This is because present continuous relates to what happened in the recent past, is still happening now, and is expected to happen in the near future.

If you use it with a future tense, just has meaning 4, only just

I'll just pop out to the shops.
I'll just be a few minutes.


Just can mean ‘recently’ or ‘a very short time before or after speaking’.

We often use the present perfect or past perfect with this meaning of just when we refer to a short time before the moment of speaking:

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