It's just as well that...

Discussion in 'English Only' started by UFO, Aug 2, 2006.

  1. UFO Senior Member

    Poland, Polish
    "It's just as well that..." Anybody knows what it means?
  2. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod

    It's very common in American English. Just off the top of my head, I would say it means "It's a good thing that". It often introduces a "retro-rationale" for a specific event occurring, usually one that might have been a disappointment initially but is a "blessing in disguise" in retrospect.

    "It's just as well that she didn't come; the band was changed at the last minute and she hates this kind of music."

    "It's just as well that you couldn't make it; I ended up getting sick and having to cancel the party anyway."

    Others might have a more concise, incisive way to describe it. I hope my rambling is a little help. :)
  3. fenixpollo

    fenixpollo Mod, I say, Moderator

    American English
    Hi, UFO, and welcome to the forum.

    It would be better if you wrote a complete sentence and gave us some context or background information. That way, we can offer an explanation using the exact meaning of the person who spoke/wrote the phrase.
  4. maxiogee Banned

    It is to the good that X (did, or did not, happen)

    It is just as well that I took my coat when I left home this morning, as there was heavy rain when I was coming home.
  5. redgiant Senior Member

    Cantonese, Hong Kong
    Example:Then Hugh Woolner and Bjornstrom Steffanson arrived and helped her into Boat 6. Woolner waved good-bye, assuring her that they would help her on board again when the Titanic “steadied herself.” A little later Gracie and Clinch Smith dashed up, also in search of Mrs. Candee, but Woolner told them, perhaps a little smugly, that she had been cared for and was safely away.

    It was just as well, for the slant in the deck was steeper, and even the carefree were growing uneasy.

    Source: A Night to Remember,Walter Lord

    Background: A few men were going out of their way to look after Mrs. Churchill Candee, a strikingly beautiful single mother, to make sure she was safe and on board one of the lifeboats.

    Hi, I am not really clear on the meaning of "Just as well". Does it imply some of the men might be disappointed at not being the ones to see her off, but the good thing was that she left in time to avoid the disaster?
  6. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod

    Yes, it's a good thing that she got off the ship before things got even worse.
  7. redgiant Senior Member

    Cantonese, Hong Kong
    Thank you JamesM. For unknown reasons, the expression is still a bit fuzzy to me, so here's another example in which "just as well" is used. I'd like to see if it's a correct use of the expression to native speakers.

    By the time the boss had arrived and started the meeting, his secretary realized that she'd forgotten to notify a colleague of the meeting. But seeing that the colleague was leaving the company and giving a half-hearted effort on his work, the boss said "We may just as well leave him alone. He wouldn't care about the meeting anyway."

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