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"?


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 '19 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 '19 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 '19 at 6:55
  • thank you! I've learned much – 小奥利奥 Jun 9 '19 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 '19 at 7:02

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.


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’

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.