I have a question. There is a sentence:

I gave her a candy and she spat it right out; she said it tasted bad.

Does right in this sentence means immediately like in "I'll be right back"?

  • I've corrected the errors in your question ("spit" should be "spat", and "have" should be "gave".
    – BillJ
    Commented Feb 25, 2022 at 12:38
  • @BillJ thank you) in the book was written "spit"
    – Bari
    Commented Feb 25, 2022 at 13:48
  • @BillJ - many sources say 'spit' is an acceptable past tense and past participle in US English. Commented Feb 25, 2022 at 14:21
  • 1
    I don't think that is a phrasal verb. A phrasal verb is one that contains a verb and a preposition or adverb and means something different from the combined meaning of the individual words. Like "throw up" - it does not mean "to throw, in an upward direction". In this case, she is still spitting the candy; right and out just modify how she is doing it.
    – stangdon
    Commented Feb 25, 2022 at 17:04

1 Answer 1


Yes, this is "right" being used as an adverb, and can mean a variety of things including completely, immediately, or to a great degree.

In your example, it should really be "spat it right out" ('spat' is the past participle of the verb to spit), but it might be that the writer wanted to convey colloquial speech. In either case, "spat/spit it right out" conveys the idea that they spat out the whole thing, or that they spat it out so hard it came out the mouth in a projectile fashion.

  • Spit is also sometimes used for the past tense and past participle, especially in North American English - Oxford Learner's Dictionaries Commented Feb 26, 2022 at 8:02
  • LANGUAGE NOTE: In American English, the form spit is used as the past tense and past participle. Collins Dictionary Commented Feb 26, 2022 at 8:03

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