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I am reading 「花咲かじいさん」and there is a phrase used a lot like...

隣のおじいさんは言いました。

I have not seen this before and it doesn’t make sense to me from my understanding of 隣 meaning “next to”.

What does it mean here? Is it like a temporal “next”. Like... “Then the old man said...”?

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No, doesn't mean "then" or "next" in a temporal sense. Depending on the context, the phrase you have quoted means either "the elderly man next to [someone]" or "the elderly man who lives [or lived] in the house next door."

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  • Ah! Thank you! I completely didn’t realise it was talking about a different old man (the one who lives next door). Thanks! The story makes more sense now :-)
    – Fogmeister
    May 5, 2019 at 21:26
  • You're welcome – glad I could help!
    – Nanigashi
    May 5, 2019 at 21:35

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