My question is:

"The Egyptian Calendar was like a -------watch."

I think the answer "slowly running watch" is grammatically right. But on the other hand, "slow running watch" is most common in use nowadays. I would like to know which answer you prefer.


"Slow-running" is a compound adjective, and so the "slow" part is not an adverb modifying the participle "running", but instead two adjectives that combine to form a more complex adjective. Other examples of this:

Behind the house there ran a quick-flowing stream.

Mary was famous for her slow-cooked pork stew.

You could describe it as a "watch that runs slowly", but it sounds more natural to me to say it "runs slow".

| improve this answer | |
  • Did u mean both are acceptable answers? – Aung Thu May 23 '17 at 4:56
  • I don't think you meant to say that "slow-running" is modifying "running". – BillJ May 23 '17 at 6:43
  • The "fast-moving" example isn't necessarily the most illuminating, since the adverb from "fast" is "fast" :-) – psmears May 23 '17 at 10:03
  • @psmears Er, yeah. Good point. Edited. – Andrew May 23 '17 at 13:53

I think the best wording would be, "It was like a slow-running watch". In the case of a watch, slow describes the fact that it constantly loses time and falls behind. Worded another way, you might say, "my watch constantly runs slow." You wouldn't say, "my watch constantly runs slowly."

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.