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Right now and immediately Is there a difference between right now and immediately or is it just the same?
May 7, 2018 10:50 PM
Comments · 9

I'm a US native speaker. I don't think there's any difference. It's the usual English double vocabulary: "right now" is Anglo-Saxon-derived, everyday, less formal, less educated; "immediately" is Latin-derived, slightly more formal, slightly more educated.

In real life the intensity is conveyed by tone of voice, not choice of word. 

In the command "Do X right now," "right" has the same sense as in "directly." X is the next thing you must do. Do not do anything else in between "now" and doing X. In "Do X immediately," the "im-" prefix means "not," and "-media-" means "in the middle" or "in between." So, it is the same idea: nothing should be in between "now" and "doing X."

In old British books, I've also heard the word "directly" used: "do it directly." This is the same idea once again, with "-rect-" being the same root as "right." I don't know enough about British culture to say whether it's still used or what shade of meaning it has.


May 9, 2018
They are similar but the usage can be  different. Immediately generally has a context of something to be preformed in the future
In a hurried manner whereas right now can just refer to a time period that is happening at the time  
For Instance you could ask someone 
"What are you doing right now" but you would not ask "what are you doing immediately?" That wouldn't make any sense
In the same way someone might reply to that question with "right now, I am eating." But they would not say "immediately I am eating"
May 8, 2018

They mean pretty much the same, but the urgency in my opinion depends mostly on the intonation.

"I need you to come inside, right now!"
 "Get inside immediately!"

Both sentences, if said in a strict voice, let someone know that they better get inside really fast!

"Can you please come inside. I need you right now."
"Do I need to come immediately, or can it wait 5 minutes?"

In these sentences, there's still a feeling of urgency, but much less than in the first two sentences.

May 7, 2018
They are interchangeable, however immediately tends to convey more of a sense of urgency. Whereas right now is something with a little less urgency or formality.
May 7, 2018
'What I need right now is some good advice' is more commonly used rather than "immediately", unless it is an emergency situation :) "Immediately" is a bit more urgent.
May 9, 2018
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English, German, Turkish
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