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I'm trying to find 就 used as "at once" in a sentence so that I can add it to my flashcards but the only sentence I've found like that would be "你现在就去做". Issue is, 现在 already means "now" so that makes 就 redundant in the sentence doesn't it? Can anyone give me a proper sentence that uses 就 to mean "at once"?

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就 in 你现在就去做 functions as the adverb "just".

你现在去做 = you go do it now

你现在(就)去做 = you (just) go do it now

Example of 就 = at once; right away:

吃完飯去 = go after finish dinner

吃完飯(就)去 = go (right away) after finish dinner

吃完飯 is the requirement. Once this requirement is met, then 去 occur at once

完成工作付工資 = when you finished work, I will pay your service fee

完成工作(就)付工資 = when you finished work, I will pay your service fee (right away)

完成工作 is the requirement . Once this requirement is met, then 付工資 occur at once

Since 你现在就去做 doesn't include a requirement, 就 doesn't carry the meaning of 'at once; right away'

If it was 你等到明天就去做 (you go do it at once when tomorrow comes); 等到明天(wait till tomorrow arrives) would be the requirement.

  • ok fair enough, could you please give me a simple example sentence where 就 is used to mean "at once" or "right away"? – 小奥利奥 Jun 9 at 6:25
  • thank you! So then is "你刷牙就去睡觉" proper usage in this case? – 小奥利奥 Jun 9 at 6:50
  • You need to indicate the requirement is completed "你刷牙就去睡觉" could mean: "you go to sleep while brushing teeth" the correct format is "你刷完牙就去睡觉", 你刷了牙就去睡觉", " 你刷好牙就去睡觉" or "你刷牙之後就去睡觉" – Tang Ho Jun 9 at 6:55
  • thank you! I've learned much – 小奥利奥 Jun 9 at 6:58
  • "你刷牙就去睡觉" could also mean "You go to sleep whenever you brush your teeth" . Similar to "我上课就睡覺" (I sleep whenever I attend school class) – Tang Ho Jun 9 at 7:02
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就 expresses emergency or handling something quickly in Chinese. It's been used when something need to/must/want to be handled at certain point of time. E.g. 我现在就去; 我明天就上班; 我(现在)就来; etc.

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Language has built-in redundancy. I think that is in order to make sure the message gets across.

You might ask: When exactly is 'now'?

你现在就去做 Go and do it now, immediately!

In this case, I think 就 is emphatic: 你立刻去做。or 你立刻就去做。

就 is a Pandora's box!

At once originally (early 13c.) meant "simultaneously," later "in one company" (c. 1300), and preserved the sense of "one" in the word; the phrase typically appeared as one word, atones; the modern meaning "immediately" is attested from 1530s.

'at once' would normally be translated as 赶快, 马上。

This sentence has 就:

天一下儿就冷了。 All at once the weather turned cold.

but 'at once' comes from ‘一下儿’

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