At a Snail's Pace Idiom

At a snail's pace (idiom)

Look at the picture and try to guess the meaning of the idiom 'at a snail's pace.'  In the picture there is a small animal with a shell that is called a "snail" in English.

Are you familiar with this animal? If so, you can easily understand the meaning because this idiomatic phrase describes the speed (pace) of snail's movement.

At a snail's pace:   Very slowly.


Here are some examples of this idiom. 

Examples:

  • I'm never coming to this restaurant again—the serve the food at a snail's pace.      
  • I recommend you bring a book when you go to the post office. It's the holidays and they always work at a snail's pace  this time of year.     
  • It took her six years to get her bachelor's degree and she wasn't even working. Her parents paid for everything while she was at university so she studied at a snail's pace.
  • Traffic was moving at a snail's pace  so I arrived 45 minutes late for work.
  • Unfortunately the lines at both check-in and security are moving at a snail's pace  so we are going to miss the flight.
  • I'm going to hire a different painter for the inside of our house. The company we are using for the exterior is painting at a snail's pace.


Is this a common idiom? Yes, it is common to see and hear in written and spoken English.

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Your turn to practice

Practicing writing your own example will help you remember this idiom in the future.  Do you work quickly or at a snail's pace?  When was the last time you experienced something that was happening at a snail's pace? Do you have this idiom (or a similar one) in your language?


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