Some things are just plain tricky in Spanish. But once you learn the trick and practice it often, it tends to “stick”, just like learning a new word. Here’s are some examples of how we can use the the English adverb “just” in Spanish:
just — justo, sólo, solamente.
Note: Just so you know, sólo is an adverb meaning “only,” “solely” or “just”– the same as solamente. As a matter of fact, sólo and solamente can be used interchangeably. A speaker can decide which sounds better in any their sentence. On the contrary, solo without an accent mark is an adjective meaning “alone” or “on one’s own”.
I’m just sitting here. That’s all.
Sólo estoy sentado aquí. Es todo.
It’s located just down the street.
Está ubicado justo al final de la calle.
Just do it!
The runner completed the marathon in just three hours.
El corredor terminó la maratón en sólo tres horas.
to just have done something/to have just finished doing something — acabar de hacer algo
In Spanish, we use the properly conjugated present tense form of acabar + de + the infinitive form of the verb (-ar, -er, -ir). This is expressed in English in the past tense. It may take some getting used to, but this phrasal formula is very useful in daily Spanish.
My dad just took a bath.
Mi papá acaba de bañarse.
My dog just pooped on the carpet. Gross.
Mi perro acaba de cagarse en la alfombra. Qué asco.
The Korean lady has just finished making some tasty soup.
La señora coreana acaba de preparar una sopa deliciosa.
I was in Quito, Ecuador for a week. I just got back yesterday.
Estuve en Quito, Ecuador durante una semana. Acabo de regresar ayer.
This enjoyable Spanish stuff is from the upcoming book, Real Life Spanish Phrases.