I have this similar discussion I found right here, but it doesn't answer my question. The question of mine itself came to mind while I'm asking the difference between ahora and ahorita, and someone mentioned the difference lays between now and right now/at this very moment.

I, as an English learner, would think those words are the same and therefore are used interchangeably. However, this is the reason I'm asking this question. The way they explained the difference of those Spanish words, makes me worried as to what if I've been thinking incorrectly i.e. if there's any, the difference between now and at the moment/this very moment. I'd appreciate if you give one or more examples to make the explanation understandable.

In case you're interested in the whole conversation to know more about the context, I provide the screenshot below since it's impossible to write them all in this question:

enter image description here

  • Your screenshots add little or nothing to what you have written in your question. Aug 17, 2022 at 13:30
  • @Michael Harvey I love to be more specific since I myself am not even sure what I'm writing. Someone from this site told me before, that I have to include source even if it's just a little. And I always take all positive feedbacks. :)
    – user516076
    Aug 17, 2022 at 13:33

2 Answers 2


"Now" and "Right now/at this very moment" both mean the same but they are used differently.

When a child says:

I'm going to study now. VS I'm going to study right now.

The difference is that in the latter an angry parent is standing in front of the child (XD).

Basically, the difference is in the strength of the tone. More accurately:
strictness/command when used by someone in authority: Come here right now!
OR weakness/submissiveness (or concern/alarm) when used by the other or someone concerned: What happenned?! I'm leaving office right now!

Note: As pointed my MichaelHarvey in the comments, in some cases, one cannot meaningfully always replace "now" by "right now" such as in the following example:
You can truthfully say 'Women are allowed to vote now in the UK'.
If you said 'Women are allowed to vote right now in the UK' it would possibly suggest that their suffrage might be taken away fairly soon or that an election is underway or that universal suffrage happened just now. So, the use of 'right now' isn't correct.

  • You can truthfully say 'Women are allowed to vote now in the UK'. if you said 'Women are allowed to vote right now in the UK' it would possibly suggest that their votes might be taken away fairly soon. Aug 17, 2022 at 13:40
  • @MichaelHarvey true! thanks for pointing it out. I'll edit. Aug 17, 2022 at 13:46
  • Could someone confirm this please. So, right now is doing something and it has to be immediately, but now is doing something normally not in a rush, is that correct?
    – user516076
    Aug 17, 2022 at 13:56
  • 1
    @user516076 yes you are correct. If you want to show that you ARE in a rush then you would use "right now/at this very moment" instead of "now". Aug 17, 2022 at 13:57
  • A parent can say "Wash your face NOW", with 'now' said in a louder tone, and the dirty boy will (or should) understand that it means 'right now, without delay, this instant, etc' Aug 17, 2022 at 14:26

It is hard to add much to the explanation which your screenshots contain about the difference between ahora and ahorita.

We have lots of expressions which can be used more or less interchangeably like: right now, right this minute, right away, straight away. They all mean that there is going to be minimal delay between the speaker uttering them and the action.

Now, on the other hand just means at the present time as opposed to in the fact or the future. It can refer to an extended period of time in the present too. Europe used to be covered by a thick layer of ice but it is not so now.

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