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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 at 18:27
  • Based on the context, 去 may mean "go / attend" or "die". – tsh Feb 28 at 12:34
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很快就有人去了

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:

有人很快就学会了[src]
Some people will soon master [it].

喝啤酒时,为什么有人很快就上厕所[src]
When drinking beer, why [do] some people soon need to go to the toilet?

Other examples using this structure:

很快就有人发现了[src]
Someone soon discovered...

很快就有人可以取代你的位置[src]
Someone can take your place very soon.

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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

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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.

听说了宝藏的事后,
After hearing about the hidden treasure,
很快就有人去寻宝了。
people quickly went in search of it.

大家听说地震后的灾区急需援助,
After hearing about the urgent need for disaster relief in the area affected by the earthquake,
很快就有人去了。
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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