The phrase

I just noticed now [...]

seems to be quite common, as a google query reveals. However, I am wondering why is simple past used here, and also why not "justly" instead of "just"?

Should it not be present perfect, i.e., "I just(ly) have noticed [...]"?

Surely, using "justly" sounds strange, maybe this is the reason why this is somehow an exception to the rule? Or is there any other explanation? Also for the tense used?

2 Answers 2


The simple past is correct and acceptable here because the noticing is completely in the past. The choice of whether to use simple past or present perfect is often a matter of taste.

Just is correct because it means "very recently", and "just now" is a stock phrase meaning "a moment ago".

Justly would not be correct because it would mean "I noticed in a just way", which doesn't make any sense.

  • 1
    Worth explaining that "just" used in the sense of "justly" means "legal, fair and honest" as opposed to meaning "a very short time ago"? Otherwise the reader may remain confused. Jan 28, 2021 at 13:18

Better to say "I noticed just now", keeping "just"+"now" together, or there may be confusion that "just" qualifies "noticed" rather than "now".

"I just noticed now" can be interpreted to mean: "Now (at this time), I just (= "merely") noticed ..."

That is, "Right this minute, I did no more than notice ..."

which is not what you wanted to say.

And you don't need "have".

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