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Consider this sentence

El viaje acaba de comenzar.

I believe we can understand it as

The journey has just begun.

But in English, “The journey has just begun.” can mean both

The journey has begun just now. (Emphasis on “begun recently”)

And

The journey has only just begun. (Emphasis on “barely begun”)

Does the Spanish sentence above also carry both two meanings? If not, how could we express the second meaning (“only just”) in Spanish? Thanks!

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  • In English, has only just begun and has just begun are basically the same thing. I see no real difference in meaning at all.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jul 8, 2023 at 18:12
  • @Lambie No es cierto. En un caso se dice que el viaje RECIÉN empezó, ACABA DE empezar. En el otro se dice SOLAMENTE comenzó el viaje (no pasó nada más que eso).
    – tac
    Commented Jul 8, 2023 at 19:59
  • @tac Hablo del inglés, no del español. You have written: The trip began recently versus The trip has just begun. La pregunta seria: El viaje acaba de empezar Y El viaje solo acaba de empezar. No veo gran diferencia.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jul 9, 2023 at 2:01
  • @Lambie 'sólo (only)' cambia el énfasis de que 'esto pasó recientemente' a 'esto fue lo único que pasó'. Entonces, al decir 'el viaje sólo acaba de empezar' se infiere que van a pasar muchas cosas más dentro del viaje. Los ejemplos del OP son medios malos porque 'just' juega el rol de 'reciente' en ambos casos, pero lo que quiso preguntar se entiende perfectamente. La intención es lo que cuenta
    – tac
    Commented Jul 9, 2023 at 2:16

1 Answer 1

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According to the definitions in the DLE for acabar

  1. intr. Haber ocurrido poco antes algo. Acaba DE perder su caudal.

Which is your first suggestion, (=it just happened) I cannot find one there which corresponds to your second suggestion.

For the second meaning the word apenas springs to mind. El viaje apenas ha empezado_ would be my suggestion

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