Archive for December 21, 2010

grammatical word: right

The word for today is one which is used very often in conversations: “right”. It is used when we want to emphasize a location or time. For example:

The fitting rooms are right over there.

The bank is right next to the post office.

My favorite restaurant is right down this street.

The boss wants to see you right away.

We have to leave right now if we don’t want to be late.

The movie will begin right at 9:00.

So in the first three examples, the word “right” does NOT mean that the place is located on the right side. Instead, we use the word “right” to mean “directly” or “just”. We could also use the word “just” in these situations. For example:

The fitting rooms are just over there.

The bank is just next to the post office.

My favorite restaurant is just down this street.

In the fourth example, I use the expression “right away”. It is similar to “right now” but has a slightly different feeling. We say “right now” to mean at this exact moment, but we say “right away” to mean as soon as possible so now is the best time. We often use “right away” to talk about when we want something to begin, and we often use “right now” to talk about what is happening at a certain moment. For example:

I want to start the ABC project right away.

I’m working on the XYZ project right now.

Finally, in the last example, I used “right” when talking about a certain time. So “right at 9:00” means precisely at 9:00, not 8:59 and not 9:01, but exactly when it becomes 9:00.

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