Trail behind/lag behind/linger behind

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Senior Member
Hello everyone,

I would like to know the difference between these three verbs + preposition. The context is that persons are doing a walk and somebody doesn't follow the rythm. So in this context can I say "We set about walking together, but X (name of the person) was trailing/lagging/lingering behind"?

  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    "Trailing behind" or "lagging behind" sound normal in that sentence. Both verbs tell me that somebody is unable to walk as fast as the others walk.

    "Lingering behind" sounds odd. It tells me that somebody is dawdling somewhere back on the trail. I'd need more information about this person and what he or she was doing before the phrase would make much sense to me.
    Last edited:


    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    You can use trail or lag in your example. Linger implies a deliberate decision to stay behind, rather than merely walking more slowly, and usually refers to someone remaining stationary.
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