This is from an interview with a celebrity where she is asked many questions in a short period of time. At some point, in between two questions, the reporter says to her:

"You were valedictorian of your class. That wasn't a question. I just think that is great."

The beginning of the last sentence "I just think ...." drew my attention. I wondered why he simply did not say "I think...." but "I just think .....".

So, I focused on what the difference would be between "I think ...." VS "I just think.....",

I think he added "just" because he remembered that fact(being valedictorian) a little while ago, so he added "just" to mean a short while ago, as in "I have just finished my lunch."

But then I also think he might have said it for something else, like maybe to refer to his astonishment, or her being so humble about it, etc.

I am not quite sure which one.

So, I wanted to ask, what difference does it make when one says "I just think that is great." instead of "I think that is great."?

  • 1
    "Just" here means "merely"
    – gotube
    Commented Jul 20, 2023 at 21:42

2 Answers 2


I believe that there are two possibilities here. The first (which I consider more likely) is that the interviewer means "only". In the previous sentence, the interviewer said "that wasn't a question", so he or she is suggesting that in the current sentence "only" means what it says and doesn't have any other purpose (such as asking a question). Merriam-Webster has the following definition:

| just last year
| just be yourself

The interviewer might also be using "just" for emphasis, in which case it would be similar to "really". The Collins Dictionary says:

You use just to emphasize the following word or phrase, in order to express feelings such as annoyance, admiration, or certainty.
She just won't relax.
I knew you'd be here. I just knew.
Isn't it fantastic? Just look at that!
Just think, we should be home this time tomorrow.
I don't see the point in it really. It's just stupid.
Isn't he just the most beautiful thing you ever saw?


Adding "just" might make the statement more tentative, or might indicate mild disagreement, but it depends on context.

Q: "Don't you realize he's wrong?" A: "I just think there's another way to view it."

Q: "Want to go on a picnic?" A: "I just think it might rain."
  • What you say is correct, but probably not relevant to the sentence in the question.
    – JavaLatte
    Commented Jul 21, 2023 at 4:21

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