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Question What does "just" mean here?

hirashin

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Dear native English speakers,
I have a little question.

What does "just" mean in the following passage?

One day he was discussing this dream with a teacher. He was shocked when the teacher just said, “To make an idea like that come true, you’d have to go to the top university in Japan. For you, that’s impossible.”

Can it be replaced with "only"?

Thanks in advance.
Hirashin
 
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Michael2

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Yes, I think it could be replaced by "only". "just" is probably more common in this kind of situation but I think "only" would be fine. It's to emphasise that all the teacher's reaction to hearing of his dream was to comment that he would have no chance of going to the top university in Japan and didn't encourage him at all.
Another similar situation might be if you told your parents you were getting married but all they said was, "That's nice."/they just said, "That's nice."/they only said, "That's nice."
 
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