I am not quite sure about the pattern of sentence "My watch is running slow" ? Is it a SVOC or something ? Would anyone explain it in detail ?

  • The word running, is not strictly necessary in your example. That would also be the case if you were talking a clock. – Tristan r Jun 19 '14 at 16:37

SUBJECT (“My watch”) plus intransitive VERB in present progressive tense (“is running”) plus ADVERB (“slow,” despite the lack of -ly suffix, which if present would alter the adverb’s meaning but not its part of speech—see below). It is the same basic sentence pattern as “He is sleeping soundly.”

A timepiece running at the exactly correct speed, but set so that it consistently indicates a time later than the relevant standard, is running slow but not slowly. Some people deliberately set inherently and otherwise accurate car-dashboard clocks and wristwatches fast in the usually vain hope that it will improve their own punctuality.

  • so do you mean "my watch is running slow" and "my watch is running slowly" have different meaning ? and how about the patterns ? I believe they are different as well – Jammy Lee Jun 19 '14 at 7:36
  • @JammyLee Slow usually means in this context that the watch is running behind the true time by a consistent amount, as Brian has said (at 12:00, it shows 11:55; at 14:00, it shows 13:55; and so on, always five minutes behind). Slowly would mean that it takes longer than an hour for the hands to move on an hour (at 12:00, it shows 11:55; at 14:00 it shows 13:45; and so on, losing more and more time all the while). – Andrew Leach Jun 19 '14 at 16:12
  • In contrasting "my watch is running slow" with "my watch is running slowly," would you say that the verb "to run" has different meanings in the two examples? Its meaning in the first strikes me as similar to that in such sentences as "I'm running late." – Greg Marks Jul 7 '14 at 3:52
  • They do mean the same thing, but they get to it by different routes. My watch is running slow means you don't trust it; my watch is running slowly refers to the workings of the machinery, but it has the same outcome -- therefore, you don't trust it. – John Lawler Aug 18 '14 at 17:10

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