I was accused of being grammatically incorrect for saying "Turn right right here" and I was wondering if it is truly ungrammatical or if it is merely awkwardly worded.

  • 1
    I would say it is simply awkwardly worded. You have 'turn right' and for the second part you could also say 'exactly here', or simple 'here'. The second 'right' modifies 'here' and it shouldn't be ungrammatical. Jan 10, 2016 at 9:55
  • 2
    Turn right, right here. Right?
    – WS2
    Jan 10, 2016 at 10:14
  • @WS2 : Was it you who posted, "Bill will bill Will?" Jan 10, 2016 at 10:38
  • @BenjaminHarman Isn't it Will Bill bill Will? One of those sentences which reads the same forwards and backwards, except for the one non-capitalised word.
    – WS2
    Jan 10, 2016 at 12:40
  • There are many such situations in English, some amusing, some outright dangerous. "Right", in particular, can lead to a lot of confusion, since expressions like "turn right here" and "Should I turn left?" "Right!" are highly ambiguous. But you also often see "that that" and "will will".
    – Hot Licks
    Jan 10, 2016 at 13:54

4 Answers 4


Yes, it's completely accurate. In fact, it involves a literary technique that many authors use in writing. I'm trying to remember the name of the rhetorical device but it involves using different meanings of the same word spelled the same way in the same sentence. A famous instance was FDR:

  • "We have nothing to fear but fear itself." (It uses the verb fear and the noun fear.)

Even better example:

  • Do I turn right right here?
  • Right, right right now!

A third example from Vince Lombardi:

  • "If you aren't fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm."

As you can see, there's nothing awkward about it. Many writers go for making matches like these, especially when they so readily make sense. People aren't confused when you say, "Right, right right now," in that context.

The literary scheme you are using when you say, "Do I turn right right here," is called an antanaclasis. I don't think that a way to say something that is so cool they gave it a name is something you need to avoid using.

  • 1
    How do you parse/explain "Right, right right now"? I don't get it.
    – Mitch
    Jan 10, 2016 at 14:01
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    @Mitch I parse it as "[It's correct], [turn right] [exactly] now!"
    – justhalf
    Jan 10, 2016 at 14:10
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    @justhalf Oh, right. Thanks! Any second now a buffalo will be involved.
    – Mitch
    Jan 10, 2016 at 14:14
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    – Mazura
    Jan 10, 2016 at 17:21

Consider, turn left right here vs. turn left, I mean right, here.

It is grammatical, natural, and potentially confusing. Homonyms can be ambiguous in certain contexts, requiring a bit of thinking to decode. Something best avoided when someone is concentrating on driving. Or you can take comfort that you were grammatically correct as the car heads into a telephone poll.

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    Oh, the number of times that my cell phone has rung while I am driving my car, and it is someone calling saying that they are taking a survey and would I please answer some questions. I usually refuse such requests so as to avoid driving into a telephone poll. Jan 10, 2016 at 18:13

It is technically grammatically correct, but it is a poor choice of words given the context.

There is nothing wrong with it, but you should never use the word right when talking about directions, unless you mean the direction itself. It's not technically required, but I strongly suggest it.

Instead of using right as an affirmation, use correct.

"Correct, right here" is better in the context to avoid confusion.

Or in your example, "Turn right here" can be rough. Does it mean turn immediately or turn in the direction right? It is no grammatically incorrect. However, it is contextually confusing, and should be avoided. It should have been rephrased as "Take a right now" or something along those lines.

Again, it is grammatically correct, yet ill advised given the context.

  • 1
    Or speech can add emphasis: take THIS right. Even better, add (situation-dependent) specifics: turn right into the driveway; take the right before the streetlight; turn right following the red sports car. Jan 10, 2016 at 18:54

As others have pointed out, it is technically correct, but I find that in a language that uses "right" as a navigational term, using "right" to denote time is a bad idea.

In New Zealand, it's common to use the word "just" instead:

  • "Turn right just here."
  • "Turn left just there at that light."

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