These words are easiest to understand as nouns:
- El derecho is never a term of direction and is used to refer to something that is due a person according to law, moral principle or custom in other words, a right. When used in the plural, it typically means "rights" such as in the phrase derechos humanos, human rights. It can also refer to a type of "right" that is less abstract. For example, derechos del autor (literally, author's rights) refers to royalties.
- La derecha refers to something that is on the right (opposite of left) side. It can refer to, for example, the right hand and the political right. The adverbial phrase a la derecha is common and means "to the right" or "on the right."
As an adverb, the form is derecho. It typically means "straight ahead" or "in a straight line" as in anduvieron derecho, they walked straight ahead.
Here are some examples of these words in use:
- No tienes el derecho de iniciar la fuerza contra la vida, libertad, o propiedad de otros. You don't have the right to initiate the use of force against the life, liberty or property of others.
- Estos cambios pueden tener un impacto negativo contra los derechos al voto de minorías raciales. These changes can have a negative effect against the voting rights of racial minorities.
- Como consecuencia de este incidente sufrió una herida grave en el ojo derecho. As a result of this incident he suffered a serious injury in his right eye.
- Siguió derecho por un tiempo. He continued straight ahead for some time.
- Nunca he negado que hay diferente tipos de derechas. I have never denied there are different types of conservatives.
- Espero que la pared esté derecha. I hope the wall is straight up and down.
- Gire a la derecha desde la rampa de salida. Turn to the right from the exit ramp.