The abuse of fast

The abuse of fast

“The abuse (el abuso de) of “fast”.

Consider the following sentences:

  • Kike was driving his Ferrari too fast.
  • Sofia was running fast.
  • Why was Mr. P. Rivero, the Canarias representative, speaking so fast?

How do these sentences sound to you (¿que le parecen las oraciones?)? Sound familiar (¿le suenan?)? Yes, unfortunately (desgraciamente).

I would like to sound a note or warning (quisiera dar la señal de alarma). They are grammatically wrong. Have you heard many supposedly “well educated “ (supuestamente educada) people use “fast” in such ways? Of course (por supuesto).

Yes, many people use “fast” as though it was an adverb in the sense of movement. They are wrong, simply wrong. The bottom line (lo fundamental) is that using “fast” as an adverb in the above sentences is incorrect. Here are the correct uses of “fast”:

“Fast” as an adjective:

  • Merkel owns a fast car.
  • Too many people in Tenerife eat fast food (comida de la basura).
  • Alejandro took a fast train from Prague to Berlin.
  • Ester finds life in the fast lane (la vida frenetica) exciting.

“Fast” is a noun and verb in the sense of “ayuno” and “ayunar”. Here are two examples:

  • I am going to break my fast at 5pm (voy a interrumpir el ayuno a las 5).
  • I am fasting tomorrow.

“Fast“ is an adverb only, I repeat only, in these senses:

  • Tie the rope fast (ata la cuerda bien).
  • The European Union should stand fast (deberia mantenerse firme) over Greece.
  • Hold fast! (agarrate bien).

Still puzzled (¿no lo entiende todavía?)? This is understandable (comprensible) because the error or abuse (abuso) of “fast” is so endemic (endémico). Consult a good dictionary, such as “The Chambers Dictionary”.

So the correct forms of the above sentences should be:

  • Kike was driving his Ferrari too quickly.
  • Sofia was running quickly/rapidly.
  • Why was Mr. P. Rivero, the Canarias government representative, speaking so quickly?

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