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柏锦鸿 (bǎijǐnhóng)

Query about usage of 就在

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柏锦鸿 (bǎijǐnhóng)

Hi everyone,

A new member of the forum here (albeit I’ve been lurking around for a while). I think these forums are a great resource.

Re: my standard of Chinese, I used to be a bit over HSK 4 level but, due to a lack of use and a dearth of studying, have since dropped back to HSK 3½-ish. I’m now in the process of rectifying this and have just started a long-term studying binge. One of the things I’m doing is reading some simple stories, and following on from this have a question on a sentence I read in Mandarin Companion’s ‘The Secret Garden’:  就在李叶想回去的时候,她发现了一只小鸟


In particular, I was wondering about the use of 就在. Does this change the emphasis in the sentence from ‘when’ something happened to ‘just as’ something happened? i.e.:  

… 的时候, … = When …, …

就在 … 的时候, … = Just as …, … 


So the sentence would translate as: “Just as Lǐyè wanted to go back/thought of going back, she discovered/found a small bird.” This would seem to make sense, but I can't remember seeing this structure before. If so, is this the typical structure you should use if you want to describe a second thing happening very quickly after a first thing starts?

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Is that the whole sentence?

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柏锦鸿 (bǎijǐnhóng)

Happy_hyaena - yes, it's the whole sentence.



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This is just a regular use of 就, not a special structure. 在...的時候 is a structure, and a 就 has just been added on the front end of it.

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