My brother and I went for a swim the other day. At first I could keep up with him but then he started swimming too fast.

Could I use any of these to describe the change in speed? And do you have any other suggestions?

“We were swimming quite close to each other but then he powered up/ kicked himself into higher gear/went into higher gear/ and I was left far behind him.

I know that I can use ‘pick up the speed’ or ‘speed up’. I’m looking for other options though.

Thank you.


Only "...close to each other but then he powered up and I was left far behind him." is acceptable in American English. The two options with the word "gear" are awkward-sounding. The word "gear" is not used in the context of swimming.

Thank you.

Do you perhaps have any other suggestions?

Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
What about ‘put on a burst of speed’?