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Translation of “this much and no more”

I found this sentence on Tatoeba:

我知道的就這麼多了。 (Simplified Chinese: 我知道的就这么多了。)
Beyond this I know nothing.

I mistakenly understood it as "I know too much" (just by looking at 我知道的 and 这么多), so maybe the 就 is playing a big role in this sentence.

So, how did 我知道的就这么多了 comes to mean "Beyond this I know nothing"?

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marked as duplicate by Don Kirkby Sep 17 '12 at 23:43

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4 Answers 4

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就 has many meanings, but here it means "only". Definition + examples from 《现代汉语规范词典》:

限定范围,相当于"只","仅"

屋里就剩下我一个人

这次聚会就他没有来

Definition + example from《现代汉语词典》:

仅仅;只:以前就他一个人知道,现在大家都知道了).

So it is used for a restricted scope and have the same meaning as 只 and 仅仅 (both meaning only).

Some examples where 就 has the same meaning:

  • 家里就是他一个人 (jia1 li3 jiu4 shi4 ta1 yi2 ge ren2): In his family there was only him
  • 三本书我看完了两本,就一本书没看了 (san1 ben3 shu1 wo3 kan4 wan2 le liang3 ben3, jiu4 yi4 ben3 shu1 mei2 kan4 le): I have read two of the three books. There is only one left that I haven't finished reading.
  • 就去过一次 (jiu4 qu4 guo yi2 ci): only been there once
  • 昨天就他没有来,别的人都来了 (zuo2 tian1 jiu4 ta1 mei2 you3 lai2, bie2 de ren2 dou1 lai2 le): yesterday only he didn't come, the others all came

So I would translate your sentence as I only know this much

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To translate directly,

我知道的就这么多了。

means

"What I know is really this much."

which can be taken to imply that the person's knowledge is limited and can only help you this far. And hence, "beyond this, I know nothing".

To put some context to the sentence above:

A: "这题目很难,我不会做。" (This question is difficult, I don't know how to do.)

B: "是真的?" (Really?)

A: "我知道的就这么多了。你还是找别人帮忙吧。" (What I know is really this much. You better find someone else to help you.)

"就" is the shortened form of "就是" and is spoken to emphasize that "it is really like this". I think the confusion here has to do more with the understanding of the phrase "这么多" which means "this much" and not "too much" which is "太多".

For the record, "I know too much." is translated as:

我知道的太多了。

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@BertR Really? I've seen the "得" one too but what's actually wrong with "我知道的太多了"? –  Gus Sep 16 '12 at 23:30
2  
@BertR, "我知道的" refers to "what I know"; "我知道得" refers to "how I know". In my opinion, both are correct. It is just how you want to express it. Ever heard of this "知道得越多知道的越少"? –  杨以轩 Sep 17 '12 at 2:44

我知道的就這麼多了。 (Simplified Chinese: 我知道的就这么多了。) Your guess on "就" is correct, this is the word that make difference in many senescence like this. 就 is used to emphasize the extent of how much you know.

Without "就", "我知道的這麼多了" means that “what I know is this much”. Now with "就", you want to emphasize the extent what you know, so you can say "this is all what I know" or "beyond this I know nothing".

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that phrase means, "I know only this much". The emphasis is on the quantity limitation of knowledge and the implied meaning that a greater quantity of knowledge exists, but is not currently known by the speaker.

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Welcome to the site, and thanks for your answer. –  Don Kirkby Sep 27 '12 at 19:45

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