Speed up vs. Accelerate

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::Twain::

Senior Member
Mexican Spanish
Hi there,

Does anyone know the difference between Speed up vs. Accelerate?
They both in a context of cars.

Thanks.
 
  • Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    We'd need more specific context (the sentences that these were used in), to give a reasoned reply.

    Ordinarily I would say that "speed up" was just a more colloquial way of saying "accelerate". (Though physicists use "accelerate" to mean more things than the non-physicist do.)
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    To me, "speed up" can mean "go at a higher speed," and not necessarily to keep increasing speed.

    "Accelerate," however, means a constant change in speed.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Speed up = increase speed.
    Accelerate = change speed.
    In everyday conversation, I see no difference.
    In the context of cars, this is an everyday conversation and I still see no difference.

    In a mathematical context, acceleration may be positive or negative, and may be constant or variable.
     
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