by mere/sheer luck

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Senior Member
Japanese 標準語
Can I both say mere/sheer in the sentence below? If I can, do they mean the same?

"I survived just by mere/sheer luck."

I think I've heard both just by mere/sheer luck but not really sure if there is any difference in the actual meaning.

Thank you.
  • Franco-filly

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England
    I know it as "sheer luck" although I can see that mere luck is also used - but not so frequently. If "just" in your sentence is modifying "luck" I would not use it with "mere" or "sheer". However, if "just" is modifying "survived" I would place it before "survived" (or replace it with "only")
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