We have compared the verbal comprehension abilities of 34 right hemisphere damaged patients to 16 hospitalized control subjects of comparable age and educational attainment. The right hemisphere damaged patients performed as well as the control subjects on a vocabulary test, but were impaired in their ability to interpret proverbs and comprehend logico-grammatical sentences. Impairment on the proverbs test was the result of a decrease in the number of abstract interpretations, whereas impairment on the logico-grammatical sentence comprehension test was related to difficultes in grasping spatial and passive relationships. These comprehension impairments tended to correlate with visuospatial deficits and hemianopia, but not with the degree of hemiparesis or the presence of sensory extinction. Patients with anterior right hemisphere damage performed better on the logico-grammatical sentence conprehension test than patients with posterior damage. A variety of factors probably contribute to these verbal deficits including impaired intellect, inattention, an inability to grasp spatial relationships, and difficulties in manipulating the inner schemata of language.