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China is developing "with / at" lightning speed.

 
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hereinchina



Joined: 29 May 2009
Posts: 112

PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:41 am    Post subject: China is developing "with / at" lightning speed. Reply with quote

Hello ,
I'm not sure if I should say "at lightning speed" or "with lightning speed" in the following sentences, or if either way is grammatically correct.
1. The plane flew "with / at" lightning speed.
2. She talks "with / at" lightning speed.
3. China is developing "with / at" lightning speed.
4. He works "with / at" lightning speed.
Is there a grammar rule about using the word "with" or "at" when you are using it in combination with the expression "lightning speed"?
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 26 Oct 2004
Posts: 2993
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At a practical level, there seems hardly any difference in meaning between them (though doubtless some hefty monograph on prepositions would leave no stone unturned in saying otherwise). As for grammar rules, each appears perfectly grammatical.
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hereinchina



Joined: 29 May 2009
Posts: 112

PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 2:48 am    Post subject: thank you Reply with quote

Hello,
Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my question.
Best wishes
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fancypants



Joined: 05 Feb 2006
Posts: 5
Location: canada

PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While both are grammatically correct, "at lightning speed" sounds better, as the preposition "at" collocates with "lightning speed" (they tend to occur together).

This collocation can be seen at work in "at breakneck speed" as well.
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hereinchina



Joined: 29 May 2009
Posts: 112

PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 11:45 am    Post subject: thank you Reply with quote

I want to thank you for taking the time to answer my question. Very Happy
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