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Some children write: 'They ran at the speed of light.'

Firstly, I would like to confirm whether the phrase 'the speed of light' is appropriate. To me, it is not suitable because nobody can run as fast as light.

Secondly, would it be grammatically wrong if I remove the inverted commas from the sentence?
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Hi Yoong Liat

No, nobody can really run at the speed of light, can they? But I personally don't have any problem with expressing the idea of running at extremely high speed that way. There is a well-known expression that creates a similar picture: like greased lightning. Emotion: smile
YankeeHi Yoong Liat

No, nobody can really run at the speed of light, can they? But I personally don't have any problem with expressing the idea of running at extremely high speed that way. There is a well-known expression that creates a similar picture: like greased lightning. Emotion: smile

Hi Yankee

1. So I'm correct that 'at the speed of light' cannot be used in that way.

2. Could you elaborate on 'like greased lightning'?

3. Some children write: 'They ran at the speed of light.' (Are the inverted commas obligatory?)
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Hi Yoong Liat

1. I think it would be OK to say it that way because nobody would think the sentence is meant literally.

2. The way I might describe like greased lightning is: at a speed that is even faster than the speed of light. Emotion: surprise

The idea is that when you grease something, you reduce friction and therefore the greased thing can move more easily or faster.

3. I would use them.
Of course you can say 'they ran at the speed of light'. It's a metaphor.
Thanks, Yankee and Nona.

Now I know it is all right to say "We ran at the speed of light."
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OK in figurative speech.
It's hyperbole. Great exaggeration that no one takes literally.

I would use the quote marks, but I would not use a colon - Some children write, "They ran at the speed of light." Perhaps this is an American thing, but we don't use the colon before quotes.
We Chinese always use colons before quotes in our language. So we have to restrain this tendency while writing English.Emotion: indifferent
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