Idiom: At a snail's pace
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.
- 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.
- I'm so frustrated because, although I started exercising every day, I'm still losing weight at a snail's pace.
- My youngest son does his homework at a snail's pace but as long as we are patient while helping him, he does eventually complete it.
- What’s wrong with the Internet? It’s working at a snail’s pace today.
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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