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Quickly vs. Soon: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on November 29, 2023
Quickly refers to doing something at a fast pace, while soon indicates something happening in a short time.

Key Differences

Quickly is an adverb describing the speed of an action, emphasizing rapidity and swiftness. Soon, on the other hand, is an adverb that relates to time, specifically indicating that an event will happen in the near future.
Quickly often implies immediate action or a fast response. Soon, in contrast, conveys anticipation of an event occurring in a short time, without specifying the speed of the action involved.
In use, quickly is typically associated with the manner in which an action is performed. Soon, however, is more about the timing of an event rather than the manner or speed of the action.
Quickly can be applied to various actions (running, speaking, thinking), while soon is usually connected with the expected time of an event or occurrence.
Quickly can modify an action verb to describe how fast something is done, whereas soon modifies the verb to indicate the nearness of the event's occurrence.

Comparison Chart

Primary Meaning

Doing something at a fast pace.
Something happening in a short time.


Speed of action.
Timing of an event.

Use with Verbs

Modifies how fast an action is performed.
Modifies when an event is expected to occur.


Implies immediate action or response.
Conveys anticipation of a future event.

Examples of Use

Running quickly, speaking quickly.
Arriving soon, happening soon.

Quickly and Soon Definitions


At a fast pace or speed.
She ran quickly to catch the bus.


Before long; shortly.
The sun will rise soon.


With little or no delay.
He quickly answered the question.


Promptly or quickly in time.
We need to leave soon to catch the train.


Without hesitation.
He quickly agreed to the proposal.


In a short time from now.
I will be home soon.


In a brief period of time.
The meeting ended quickly.


In the near future.
The new store will open soon.


With rapidity of action or movement.
She thought quickly on her feet.


Almost immediately.
She will be here soon after lunch.


Moving or functioning rapidly and energetically; speedy
An animal that is quick enough to escape most predators.


In the near future; shortly
The bus should be here soon.


Learning, thinking, or understanding with speed and dexterity; bright
A quick mind.


Just prior to something; shortly
The news broke soon before he resigned.


How is soon different from quickly?

Soon refers to something happening in a short time, not necessarily rapidly.

What does quickly mean?

Quickly means doing something at a rapid pace or speed.

Can quickly and soon be used together?

Yes, they can be combined, as in "I will be there soon and quickly."

Does soon imply a specific time?

Soon implies a general sense of nearness in time, but not a specific moment.

Can soon be used for deadlines?

Yes, as in "The project is due soon."

Does quickly always mean immediate action?

Quickly often implies immediate or swift action, but not always instantaneously.

Is soon related to time?

Yes, soon is specifically related to the timing of an event.

Is quickly only about physical speed?

No, it can refer to speed in both physical and abstract senses.

Can quickly modify non-physical actions?

Yes, such as "quickly understanding" a concept.

Is quickly used in formal writing?

Yes, but its use depends on the context and tone of the writing.

Can quickly be used in emergencies?

Yes, to indicate the need for rapid action.

Is soon often used in promises?

Yes, as in "I'll get back to you soon."

Can quickly describe a person's thinking?

Yes, as in "She thinks quickly."

Is quickly a common adverb?

Yes, quickly is commonly used to describe fast actions.

Does quickly always imply haste?

Not always; it indicates speed but not necessarily rushed or careless action.

Can soon indicate eagerness?

Yes, as in "I'm looking forward to seeing you soon."

Can soon refer to the past?

In some contexts, as in "She left soon after."

Does quickly imply efficiency?

It can, but not necessarily; it mainly focuses on speed.

Is soon subjective?

Yes, its interpretation can vary based on personal perspective.

Does soon have a positive connotation?

It can, especially in contexts of anticipation or relief.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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