Does slowly-going movement or slowly-coming movement make sense? Going and coming are participles.

I noticed the slowly-going movement of a train.

I noticed the slowly-coming movement of a train.

  • 2
    What's wrong with slow movement? Jun 11, 2021 at 7:33
  • @Kate Bunting Yes, I was inspired by ‘slow movement.’ I wonder a participle can do too. Jun 11, 2021 at 7:34
  • I see no reason to include the verb go in the phrase. Jun 11, 2021 at 7:43
  • @Kate Bunting Because it can be ‘coming’? Jun 11, 2021 at 8:09
  • Your question is too vague. It may be helpful to state to what/whom this movement belongs. Also, where would you use the phrase?
    – fev
    Jun 11, 2021 at 9:03

3 Answers 3


No, they don't make any sense because "coming" and "going" both denote movement, so to use them as part of an adjective phrase to describe a movement is a redundancy.

Instead you could say:

  • the slow-moving train
  • the slow movement of the train

Or, if you need to include the 'coming' or 'going' of the train:

  • the slow movement of the oncoming train.
  • the slow movement of the departing train.

The normal way of saying something like this would involve re-ordering it, such as:

"I noticed the movement of a train, slowly coming closer."

Neither "slowly-going" nor "slowly-coming" sound at all natural to me.


From Oxford: slow going (idiom)

a situation in which progress is slow

It looks like you are attempting to use this idiom to modify the word “movement”. You can do this.

The problem is with using “slowly” as an adverb and hyphenated. If you want the idiom “slow going” to server as a modifier for “movement” it would be better to hyphenate “slow-going”.

Other Answers to this Question frown on this usage from the perspective of brevity and avoiding redundancy, reflecting a style similar to news writing. However, that is a matter of usage preference and those answers would be more fitting if this were asked on the ELU. Still, they are insightful. But, your question is about what English grammar allows, considering questions for beginners. So, to answer from that perspective…

You may use:

slow-going movement

slow-coming movement

either in beginner English or in advanced, “Winston Churchill” style rhetoric or in poetry.

For example (fictitious):

Ms. Churchill: Winston, I see some movement coming our way.

Winston: Then it is a very slow-coming movement.

Witty or poetic use like that is great. However, most English prefers to avoid describing the same thing twice, preferring either:

slow movement


slow going

slow coming

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