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Just outside of the door

hirashin

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Hello, native English speakers, I have a question about the following sentence.
Just outside of the door was a large sign which said: "Keep Out!"

What does "just outside" mean in the sentence? Was there a sign on the door?
What does "just" mean here?

Hirashin
 

nekojita

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If I hear "just outside" I imagine something not on the door but close to it, perhaps a sign on a stand placed in front of the door. "just" emphasises that the sign is very close to the door. It is similar to "right outside" in this context.

"Where did you put my boots?"
"They were dirty so I put them outside. They should be just outside the door."

"Can you walk to the supermarket from here?"
"Yes, it's just around the corner."

It can also be used to talk about closeness in time:
"Is Thomas here?"
"Oh, you just missed him." (he just left).

"I can't believe I broke my phone! I only just bought it."

"I finished the last question on the exam just in time."
 

Uncle Frank

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The way it is worded , I picture a sign like this a few feet from the door(outside) , placed so no matter what direction you approached the door from , you could not miss seeing the sign. AframeSign.jpg
 

nice gaijin

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Just is a very useful word, in these applications it's like "a little bit"

so "just outside the door" is like "a little bit outside the door" or "right outside the door." It's not specific as to direction, just proximity.
 

hirashin

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Thanks for your help. Nekojita, Uncle Frank, and Nice gaijin. I'm glad so many people replied to my question. "Just" is one of the most difficult words for English learners because it has many meanings.
 

Stuntie

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'just outside the door' can also be used to refer to the walls as well. So the sign could have been on the wall right next to the door itself. As Nice Gajin said - it's a vague location word, but covers anything that should be very close and very obvious, but not on on the actual door itself.
Although you can even use it to mean things like 'the sign on the back of the door - the other side of the door from where we are now'. It's technically incorrect if you wanted to be pedantic (it's 'on' not 'just outside' the door) but it is allowable, and demonstates how vague 'just outside' can be.
 
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