Early vs. Fast vs. Quickly – English Vocabulary Lesson

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Have a look at these two sentences. Can you find the difference between early and fast?

  • The train was early.
  • The train was fast.

When you want to talk about time, use early. Early refers to clock time, and means not late. It has the nuance of “before the scheduled or appointed time.”

  • I was early for work today and the boss was happy.
  • The bus arrived a few minutes early, so I had time to buy the newspaper.
  • The party starts at 6:00, but if you want to come early to help set up, I don’t mind!

When you want to talk about speed, use the fast. Fast refers to the speed something travels at and can be used as an adverb or an adjective. You can also use quickly, which is an adverb.

  • Jack is a fast driver, so sometimes driving with him makes me nervous.
  • Jack drives quickly, so sometimes driving with him makes me nervous.
  • New Yorkers tend to walk fast.
  • New Yorkers tend to walk at a fast pace.
  • New Yorkers tend to walk quickly.

Do you usually arrive at work or school early? Do you walk fast? Are you a fast learner?

If you know anyone who might be interested in this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!

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