(usually preceding verbs in the past tense) already (indicating that something has happened before)
- Já li esse livro = I have already read this book
(usually following verbs in the present tense) now (at this instant)
- Consigo fazer isso já = I can do this right now
- Compre já! = Buy now!
Thank you very much for this explanation! I think that the word "just" in English can be translated in so many different ways that it's difficult to translate to Portuguese. I found this very helpful link (you have to scroll down past a few videos): https://brazilianportuguese.wordpress.com/2008/08/
Just is a bizarre word in English and has probably over 10 meaings. See here for a decent list of the English meanings with translations of the Brazilian equivelent words. Já can be used to mean “just” in the sense of a small space of time. “We’re just arriving” – “Estamos chegando já já”. Often, as in the example given, já is repeated to emphasise how little the time is. Or, if the doorbell rings, often people in the house will say “Já vai!” which is when we would say in English “Just coming!”. But, “já” doesn’t necessarily mean a small space of time after an event – as in “He’s just finished playing football”. Brazilians would more likely say “Ele acaba de jogar futebol” lit. He finish of to play football
Yes, there are a number of errors in English, but oh well..
"já" can mean "already", "just", "ever" or "soon"... It depends on the context
guided by truth, reason, justice, and fairness: We hope to be just in our understanding of such difficult situations.
done or made according to principle; equitable; proper: a just reply.
3.based on right; rightful; lawful: a just claim.
in keeping with truth or fact; true; correct: a just analysis.
given or awarded rightly; deserved, as a sentence, punishment, or reward: a just penalty.
in accordance with standards or requirements; proper or right: just proportions.
(especially in Biblical use) righteous.
within a brief preceding time; but a moment before: The sun just came out.
exactly or precisely: This is just what I mean.
by a narrow margin; barely: The arrow just missed the mark.
only or merely: He was just a clerk until he became ambitious.
actually; really; positively: The weather is just glorious.
And the rest of that article:
A: “Eles estão perto daqui”/”They’re nearly here!” B: “Já?”/”Already?”. The present perfect tense (have + past particple) is used a lot in English but less so in Portuguese. And, in English it’s often used with already as in this example: “I’ve already eaten”. Brazilians would simply say in Portuguese “Eu já comi” lit. “I already ate”.
My brother-in-law said this just the other week when we were eating out for Sunday lunch.”Esse o Restaurante mais nordestino que eu já vi”. In English we would say, “This is the most northeastern restaurant that I’ve ever been to”.
No equivelent in English.
And, quite simply, já is used in Portuguese when in English we probably wouldn’t use “already” or “just” or “ever”. For example, as in the picture above, “Eu já sabia” (lit. I already knew) maps to “I knew it!” in English. And when somebody suddenly has a eureka moment – a good idea or a solution to a problem they will declare in Portuguese “Já sei!” (lit. already I know) where we would say (usually accompanied by a light-bulb going on above our heads) “I know!”…