Can anyone help me translate this sentence properly? 很快就有人去了. My attempt is “Very quickly and soon, some people left.” However I don’t really understand the 很快就 part. Like i thought if these were modifying the verb, why are they in the beginning of the sentence before the noun 有人 ?And is 快 modifying 就?And what would be the purpose of that given that 就 just means “then...”?

  • I would translate it as "soon someone would be going". – 魏小淇 Feb 27 '20 at 18:27
  • Based on the context, 去 may mean "go / attend" or "die". – tsh Feb 28 '20 at 12:34


This uses a variation of the grammar structure:

快 + Verb + 了

When using 快 ⋯⋯了 (kuài... le) with verbs, it takes on a meaning similar to the English "just about to." Normally you can add 要 (yào) before the verb.
快⋯⋯了 (kuài... le) with Verbs, Chinese Grammar Wiki

In this case what's about to happen is 去 ("to go"), it's happening to 有人 ("someone"), and the 快 ⋯⋯了 (with the change of state 了) indicates it hasn't yet happened. The 很 and 就 seem to add urgency to the sentence. It can thus be translated to something like:

Someone will go very soon.

My impression is that it's better to put 有人 before the 快, such as in:

Some people will soon master [it].

When drinking beer, why [do] some people soon need to go to the toilet?

Other examples using this structure:

Someone soon discovered...

Someone can take your place very soon.


很快有人去了 = very soon, someone go

In this case, "了" is acting as a final particle that indicate the sentence is ended, adding emphasis to the verb or soften the tone of the sentence


很快有人去了 = very soon, someone had gone

In this case , "了" is acting as a verb particle that indicate the verb 去 is completed

就 has many meanings.

In the context of "了" acts as a final particle, "就" would mean "would"

很快()有人去了 = very soon, someone (would) go


In the context of "了" acts as a verb particle, "就" would mean "then"

很快()有人去了 = very soon (then) someone had gone


If you only have fragments of language, it is hard to get the meaning exactly. You should always put more context.

If we add some more, it is easier to understand.

After hearing about the hidden treasure,
people quickly went in search of it.

After hearing about the urgent need for disaster relief in the area affected by the earthquake,
people rushed to assist.

很快就有人 = very 很 quick 快 then 就 there were 有 people 人 to 去

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