# swim (along) the width of the pool

#### keramus

##### Senior Member
Hello everybody

Peter and his nephew want to go swimming. When they get to the swimming pool, Peter says:
Just remember, you must swim along the width of the pool.

This is my question:
Is using "along" necessary in this sentence?

I'm looking forward to hearing your opinion.

• #### london calling

##### Senior Member
I don't understand that, sorry. What do you mean exactly? If you swim across a pool you swim the width of the pool. 'Along' suggests you're close to the edge of the pool, not in the middle of it, but it still sounds a little odd.

#### keramus

##### Senior Member
I don't understand that, sorry. What do you mean exactly? If you swim across a pool you swim the width of the pool. 'Along' suggests you're close to the edge of the pool, not in the middle of it, but it still sounds a little odd.
I mean the width of the pool, and anywhere in the pool, such as in the middle, near the edge.
I hope I'm clear this time.

#### london calling

##### Senior Member
In that case leave 'along' out. You do a width or you swim the width of the pool.

#### Hermione Golightly

##### Senior Member
Not really clear. I want to swim (across) the width/ (along) the length of the pool. I want to swim 'in the middle of the pool', perhaps, but I don't understand exactly what it means. I've never heard anybody say that.

#### kentix

##### Senior Member
The long way from one end of the pool to the other is the length of the pool. The short way from one side to the other is the width. So if we are swimming from one end to the other along the long direction, we would say "You must swim the length of the pool". That's normal. People don't usually swim the short way, between the sides. But if we did, we would say, "You must swim the width of the pool."

#### Dretagoto

##### Senior Member
In BrE (at least when I was a kid), the term is "breadth", not "width", but either way it is the same as the others have said. It's not uncommon for children to swim breadths rather than lengths because of the reduced distance, and you can say it in that way too: "Just remember to swim breadths/widths".

#### london calling

##### Senior Member
People don't usually swim the short way, between the sides. But if we did, we would say, "You must swim the width of the pool."
This is a memory I hold to this day. When I took my first 'official' swimming lessons with my primary school in Australia as a 5-year old who could already swim but had no grasp of any swimming techniques they used to make us swim the breadth/width of the pool, not the length. I suppose it was because we were so young.

I think I still have my certificates somewhere (XX widths breaststroke, crawl, underwater, etc.). Obviously keramus' post doesn't surprise me at all.

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