just fine/just OK

Gabriel Malheiros

Senior Member
Portuguese - Brazil
Hi, there

Is there any difference between "just fine" and "just OK"? Do they mean "very good" or "only just good"?

"You look just OK/fine".. Is there any difference?

Thank you
 
  • natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    No difference for me.

    Just can mean merely if you stress the word. Otherwise 'just OK/fine' means 'very good'.
     

    Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    In AE, they can be quite different. "You look just okay" often means "You look no better than average."

    As always, some context would help.
     

    Gabriel Malheiros

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Brazil
    In AE, they can be quite different. "You look just okay" often means "You look no better than average."

    As always, some context would help.
    And "look just fine" would mean "look very good"? So the difference is not in the emphasis on "just", but between "fine" and "ok"?
     

    hjr.lm7mudia.hntati

    Senior Member
    english-USA
    In AE, I've never heard "just" and "ok" used together at all, like "you look just ok." That sounds really weird, but "You look just fine" is right, like if someone is worried about their appearance and you tell them "You look just fine. Don't worry about it" or "you did just fine on your exam." The emphasis is not really on the "just" because then that would mean you "only" did fine, but in these examples with the way they are used and the tone, it means the opposite...
    "You look just fine" = you look perfectly fine, nothing to worry about..
    like that


    < Edited to make the capitalization a little more regular. Cagey, moderator >
     
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    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    I agree with hjr. I would not combine "just" with "OK", only with "fine".
    "Just fine" is a very guarded comment, designed to sound like perfectly OK, but often meaning "only adequate", and not really "very good". It has a hint of negativity about it, or rather a hint of "could do better".
     

    hjr.lm7mudia.hntati

    Senior Member
    english-USA
    I agree with hjr. I would not combine "just" with "OK", only with "fine".
    "Just fine" is a very guarded comment, designed to sound like perfectly OK, but often meaning "only adequate", and not really "very good". It has a hint of negativity about it, or rather a hint of "could do better".
    I was having a hard time explaining "just ok."
    For me it sounds very natural and the meaning is obvious, but to someone learning English it would sound really weird and he wouldn't get the "perfectly fine" meaning since it appears to imply the opposite.
    But you explained it perfectly, took the words out of my mouth.



    < Edited to make the capitalization a little more regular. Cagey, moderator >
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Gabriel Malheiros

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Brazil
    I agree with hjr. I would not combine "just" with "OK", only with "fine".
    "Just fine" is a very guarded comment, designed to sound like perfectly OK, but often meaning "only adequate", and not really "very good". It has a hint of negativity about it, or rather a hint of "could do better".
    I was having a hard time explaining "just ok"
    for me it sounds very natural and the meaning is obvious, but to someone learning English it would sound really weird and he wouldn't get the "perfectly fine" meaning since it appears to imply the opposite
    but you explained it perfectly, took the words out of my mouth
    But how can I tell if the person means "really good" or "barely good"? when they say just fine or just ok? For example, when I was watching a TV show called "Family Guy", one person said " just OK". He was jailed because he tweeted "Broad city is just ok". What does "just ok" mean here? Barely good or very good?
     

    hjr.lm7mudia.hntati

    Senior Member
    english-USA
    But how can I tell if the person means "really good" or "barely good"? when they say just fine or just ok? For example, when I was watching a TV show called "Family Guy", one person said " just OK". He was jailed because he tweeted "Broad city is just ok". What does "just ok" mean here? Barely good or very good?

    Anytime you hear "just fine" it's an emphasis for the level of fineness, "it's adequate, just right." I've never heard "just fine" used in a negative way. Its meaning is positive.

    Examples with JUST:

    "You baked it just right" > you didn't overbake it or underbake it, thus it came out "just right" you baked it perfectly.
    "You look just fine" > you don't look terrible, underdressed, but you don't look too flamboyant, overdressed, you look perfectly fine, nothing wrong or out of the ordinary about your appearance, clothing, etc.​

    As for the Family Guy example, not too sure. I'm not getting any search results for it either
    but it seems to me that in the example you stated, "Broad City is just ok" He's negatively using it to imply that broad city is "meh" , only average, mediocre, not all that.........
    <I don't know> if this picture helps or not, but the "just ok" is like "meh" whatever, not all that...


    < Edited to make the capitalization a little more regular. Text abbreviation written out in full. Cagey, moderator >



     
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    hjr.lm7mudia.hntati

    Senior Member
    english-USA
    anytime you hear "just fine" its an emphasis for the level of fineness...its adequate, just right, I've never heard "just fine" used in a negative way, it's meaning is positive..
    examples with JUST:
    "you baked it just right" > you didn't overbake it or under bake it..thus it came out "just right" you baked it perfectly..
    "you look just fine" > you don't look terrible, underdressed, but you don't look too flamboyant, overdressed, you look perfectly fine, nothing wrong or out of the ordinary about your appearance, clothing, etc

    as for the family guy example, not too sure....im not getting any search results for it either
    but it seems to me that in the example you stated "broad city is just ok"
    he's negatively using it to imply that broad city Is "meh" , only average, mediocre, not all that.........
    idk if this picture helps or not
    but the "just ok" Is like "meh" whatever, not all that...



    OH I do remember an example with the phrase "just ok." Well not really, it's more for "ok-looking" but for example, "He was just ok looking" doesn't have the positive reassuring meaning in "just fine" or "just right."
    Here it means, he was only ok looking, only average looking and nothing else. In this example you have the literal meaning of "just" being used...


    "It's just "OK"", just = merely/barely/only just....barely passing the standard of "ok/good"

    Again, just+ok sound really strange together. Never really hear it or come across it.



    < Edited to make the capitalization a little more regular. Cagey, moderator >
     
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