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Greg entered a room in the hallway just as the two bad guys arrived from the stairwell.

  1. Does "just as" mean "at the same time as"?

  2. My intention is that Greg entered the room just before the two bad guys arrived and not because he saw them, is that clear? Or how do you read it?

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    In your context, just as is "short for" at just / exactly the same time as. But In other contexts it could be short for in just the same way. For example, Greg cleaned the hotel bath after using it just as he did in his own house. Commented Jul 3, 2020 at 15:06
  • Related: Are these sentences with “as” equivalent? Commented Jul 3, 2020 at 15:09

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In this context, the phrase "just as" means "at the same time that"

  • Greg entered a room in the hallway at the same time that the two bad guys arrived from the stairwell.

  • Greg entered a room in the hallway just as the two bad guys arrived from the stairwell.

You wrote that you wanted it to be clear that Greg entered the room just before the two bad guys arrived. Greg did not enter the room because he saw the bad guys. That is not clear from the original.

You could try:

Greg entered a room in the hallway. A moment later, the two bad guys arrived from the stairwell

Also, the phrase "bad guys" is used when analyzing a work of fiction. The phrase "bad guys" is not used when writing a work of fiction.

You can say, "the bad guys were all government officials in the third novel of the series".

Do not use the phrase "bad guys" if you are writing a story. In science fiction and detective novels you write "two men" instead of "bad guys"

Greg entered a room in the hallway. A moment later, two men arrived from the stairwell.

The phrase "bad guys" is used more often by children than by adults.

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