a. You can't carry out a scientific experiment just like that. You need to use the proper method.


b. You can't carry out a scientific experiment in any old manner. You need to use the proper method.

I looked up 'just like that and it seems to mean 'unexpectedly' and 'suddenly'.

The idea I want to express has got nothing to do with suddenness. The idea is that there is a proper way to do something. You can't go about it haphazardly.

I wondered if 'just like that' could have that meaning here. I suppose (b) does say what I want to say, but I am not sure it is natural.

You don't carry out a scientific experiment in a happy-go-lucky manner. You proceed according to a method. Not all methods are good.

  • 3
    'Carrying out an experiment just like that' would imply 'quickly and casually' to me, rather than 'unexpectedly'. A more informal way of saying 'in any old manner' would be 'any old how'. Dec 4, 2021 at 9:41
  • 1
    Why not "haphazardly" (which you use in your explanation)? I think that that word works very well. Dec 4, 2021 at 10:10

1 Answer 1


"just like that" can also indicate it is done without much thinking or planning.

From Collins

You use just like that to emphasize that something happens or is done immediately or in a very simple way, often without much thought or discussion.

From Idioms Free Dictionary

in just the way it happened or was stated; without any [further] discussion or comment. Sue: You can't walk out on me just like that.

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