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I mix "ĵus" and "ĝuste" up a lot, probably because they sound similar. Which one can be put before "nun"? or are both correct? Then, do they have different meanings?

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3 Answers 3

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There are 50 results for ĝuste nun in tekstaro.com and only one for ĵus nun so I would say that the former is more common. It might seem like ĝuste is being used incorrectly as a false friend from the English just (eg, “I just ate”), but I don't think that is the case when it is used alongside nun. PIV gives the following as one of the definitions of ĝuste:

Tute precize, sen ia dubo, ne proksimume: ĝuste antaŭ du monatoj li mortis; diris ia voĉo ĝuste apud ŝi; ĝuste antaŭ miaj okuloj; […]

So I think you could interpret ĝuste nun as being like precisely now.

For ĵus it has the definition:

Cirkonstanca morfemo, signifanta «momenton antaŭ nun» aŭ «antaŭ tiam»

That seems to pretty clearly be talking about the past or at least some time before the moment being discussed. That makes me think that ĵus nun is an oxymoron.

So to summarise, ĝuste means correctly or precisely and it can be used with nun to emphasise the present, eg:

“Kara, kiam vi faros vian hejmtaskon?”

“Trankvilu panjo, mi estas ĝuste nun faranta ĝin.”

And ĵus can be used like the English just to say that something has happened in the very recent past:

“Mi ne malsatas ĉar mi ĵus manĝis bifstekon.”

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I think the perception, that ĵus implies past, comes from the fact, that it is usually used in combination with past tense. All the examples that are in PIV are in past tense. The Fundamento doesn't say much about ĵus, it only gives some translations into other languages. As far as I know these languages, none of them do imply past.

So I would say that ĵus nun is perfectly valid.

Edit: According to PMEG it's an error to use ĵus in combination with present tense.

The use of ĝuste nun might be common, yet it has some drawbacks. Neil's example

Mi estas ĝuste nun faranta mian hejmtaskon.

is on the brink of ambiguity. Just change the word order a little

Mi estas ĝin faranta ĝuste nun.

What does ĝuste refer to? faranta or nun?

The use of ĝuste here is not wrong as it can mean "exactly" but using ĵus is way more clear.

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  • For what it's worth, PMEG quite recommends against this: “Kelkaj uzas ĵus en la signifo “precize en la nuna momento, precize en tiu momento”. Tio estas eraro. Ĵus ĉiam almontras la pasintecon, momenton antaŭan. Ne eblas diri: Li ĵus venas. Necesas diri: Li ĝuste nun (precize nun, ekzakte nun...) venas.”
    – Neil Roberts
    Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 17:18
  • You're right. I edited my post. Still I don't see a reason why PMEG so strictly says, it's an error. Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 17:21
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A bit counter-intuitive, but:

  • just now = [10%] before a moment = ĵus, antaŭ momento
  • just now = [90%] especially now = ĝuste nun

In the second case ĝuste is exactly meant: not anytime else, right now. A false false-friend so to say.

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