In my understanding, 速い is used for motion and 早い represents "early".

Which one is the correct one in this example?

A: 授業がそろそろ始まるので、早く来てください。

B: 授業がそろそろ始まるので、速く来てください。

  • 1
    早く来てください = Hurry up and come (like a person), 速く来てください = Come at a very high velocity (like a cheetah!)
    – mirka
    Commented Nov 10, 2015 at 8:28

2 Answers 2


Your understanding is correct. 速い refers to one's speed and 早い refers to time. However, 早い has more uses than just meaning early. Check: How to distinguish between the meanings of "quickly", "soon" and "early" for 早く. 早く来る would mean coming quickly with the focus on getting there on time, not particularly on getting there with speed. For example:


Please amend the constitution quickly, which emphasis on getting it done before it is too late. 早く also means to "hurry up," as in the case with coming to class early, or the passage of the amendment, or 「早く質問しろよ」. In your example, 早く would make the most sense.

http://dictionary.goo.ne.jp/jn/179400/meaning/m0u/ Check the dictionary for more detail. 早い has many more definitions than 速い.



来る is not an action you can perform with varying degrees of speed. It's corresponding here more to English "be here" or "appear here" rather than "walk down here", "walk up here".

Although there were opinions voiced here and here that the action could be expressed in progressive form.

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