Ten expressions with "right"

In this week’s episode of the Art of Business English I have got ten expressions with the word “right” to share with you. These 10 expressions are very common and can be applied to your every day business life. I am sure you have all hear do the expression “right on time”. Well, today you are going to learn a bunch more that you can start using straight away.

I have divided this episode into three parts, first, I will give you the expression, then it’s meaning and finally, I will put it into an example sentence for context.

Let’s jump right it. 

The right/wrong way round

This expression is a great one and means to have something in the correct position. If you have children, you will know that they often have their clothes on “the wrong way round”.

To serve someone right

This expression is directed towards someone who has something unpleasant happen to them. When we say this expression, we feel that the person in some way deserved what happened to them and we don’t have any sympathy for them.

To be right under your nose

When we use this expression, we are saying that the answer to something is clear or can be seen clearly. Sometimes we use it to complain, meaning, I was looking for something and, in the end, it was right there in front of me.

To make all the right noises

This expression means that you say all the things that you are expected to say and even sometimes when you do not mean them. Someone who makes all the right noises may have some motivation behind what they are saying and may not be genuine, however they get favour with someone because they make them feel good.

To be within your rights

If you are within your rights, it means that you are morally or legally allowed to get, have or do something. Basically, you are being reasonable to claim for something so you should do it.

By rights

This common expression means that if the situation was fair or just. So, a synonym of this would be fairness or justice. Therefore, we can use by rights a lot to show someone that you are being reasonable, and that the situation should be fairer.

In the right

In a situation where someone has acted in a way which is morally or legally correct then they are “in the right”. This expression is usually used in situations where there is an argument or disagreement and you want to show which person has acted correctly.

As right as rain

When someone is “as right as rain”, it means that they are feeling healthy or well again. We often use this expression to tell someone that if they follow your advice or if they do something positive for their health then they will recover from feeling bad.

Right on time

This idiomatic expression is commonly used to express that someone has arrived or something has happened exactly at the time required or agreed on. We use this a lot in everyday English, especially at work when there are deadlines.

To buy or own the rights

Finally, we use this last expression to talk about ownership of permission from the author to use their material. It is very common to buy the rights to something when you are working in marketing, as you may need to use a song or video clip in one of your advertising campaigns.

Expressions in context

In the last part of today’s episode I am going to give you some example sentences to put them into context.



The right way round

I think you have put that shirt on the wrong way round.

To serve someone right

John stole money from the company and got fired. Serves him right for being so dishonest.

To be right under your nose

I have been looking for my stapler all day and it was right under my nose.

To make all the right noises

Brian made all the right noises and in the end he got the promotion, even though he wasn’t the best candidate.

To be within your rights

The company is well within its rights to claim compensation for the damaged inventory.

By rights

By rights, we should receive a bonus for all the extra hours we have done.

In the right

John made the accounting mistake and tried to blame in on Mary, who was completely in the right.

As right as rain

Look, once you have had a holiday you should feel less stressed and you will be right as rain.

Right on time

I was right on time to the meeting yesterday, for the first time in a month.

To buy/own the rights

The company owns the rights to this catalogue of songs and we plan on profiting from them for the next 10 years.

Final thoughts

There you have ten expressions with “right” that you can put into practice straight away.

The next time you send out an email or attending a meeting try using one of these expressions, it will make learning and remembering them much easier.

If you would like the transcript from the episode then please register below for a free AOBE account.

Feel free to leave me your comments below, let me know if you have any other expressions with “right” that you like to use.

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Andrew is the CEO and founder of the Art of Business English. Besides teaching and coaching native Spanish speakers in Business English, he is also passionate about mountain biking, sailing and healthy living. When He is not working, Andrew loves to spend time with his family and friends.

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