The word "pace" is used when describing speed and movement.

  • The boat is moving at a very quick pace.
  • This line is moving at a slow pace.
  • The pace of the runners on the track helped the first-place finisher break a world record.
  • The company is producing products at a furious pace. (furious = very quick)

In the next set of sentences, "pace" is a verb that means to observe or monitor one’s speed. Notice that a reflexive pronoun is often used in this instance.

  • I’m trying to pace myself. (I’m monitoring my speed.)
  • Don’t run too fast. Try to pace yourself.
  • He’s pacing himself.
  • If we walk too fast we’ll get tired. Let’s pace ourselves.
  • They don’t want to spend all of their money on the first few days of their vacation. They’re pacing themselves.

When used as a verb, "pace" also means to walk back and forth. Pacing may indicate that a person is nervous or worried about something:

  • The man paced up and down the hallway as he waited for an update from the doctor on his wife’s condition.
  • Someone is pacing in front of the building.
  • The dog is pacing in front of the fence.
  • Why are you pacing? Are you nervous?

When something or someone moves slowly, we say that it moves at a snail’s pace. In other words, it moves very slowly.

snail a snail

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July 26, 2013