The easy way to remember which pedal is which is to read ABC from right to left: Accelerator, Brake and
Furthest to the right is the accelerator. Increasing pressure on this pedal feeds more fuel to the engine, so the engine turns faster. This provides more power (though not necessarily more speed). The quick way to refer to the accelerator is to call it the gas.
In the middle is the brake. Increasing pressure on the brake pedal applies increased friction to the wheels, which causes the car to slow down. Applying the break pedal, even very softly, causes the brake lights at the back of the car to come on.
The pedal furthest to the left is the clutch pedal. Pushing the clutch pedal to the floor disconnects the engine from the wheels. When a gear is selected (i.e. the car is not in neutral), lifting the clutch pedal connects the engine with the wheels and, if the engine is turning, causes the wheels to turn.
The accelerator and brake should only be operated with the right foot and the clutch pedal should only be operated with the left foot.
Use gentle pressure for the accelerator and brake, easing gradually on and off as necessary.
The clutch pedal can be pushed straight to the floor when it is necessary to disconnect the engine (usually when stopping or changing gear). However, when lifting the clutch up it can be necessary to move your left foot very gently or the engine may stall. As a general rule, the lower your gear, the more gentle you need to be with the clutch.
Before starting the engine, ensure the engine and wheels are disconnected from each other by pushing the clutch to the floor. In some cars, this is a requirement before the engine will start; in others, it is sufficient for the gearstick to be in the neutral position. It is a good safety precaution to push the clutch down regardless. This ensures the wheels will not turn when the engines starts.
Once the engine is running, it will turn at a slow speed without the need to add gas. When the gas pedal is pushed, the engine burns more fuel and turns at a faster rate. As long as the clutch stays down, the engine will not turn the wheels.
With a gear selected, lifting the clutch causes the engine to be connected to the wheels. The biting point is the point at which the two clutch plates are just starting to touch. In the absence of anything holding the car back (such as the handbrake), the wheels would very slowly start to move at this point. Further lifting of the clutch will result in more power being transferred to the wheels, which will turn faster as a consequence.
With the clutch fully lifted, the engine and wheels turn together. Control over the speed of the car is now maintained using the gas and the brake. Prior to this point, the speed at which the wheels could turn was controlled mainly by the position of the clutch.
When applying pressure to the clutch with the engine running, be careful not to release the clutch too quickly. A sudden release of the clutch could cause a shock to the engine which will result in a stall: the engine suddenly stops running. This effect is most pronounced in first gear and becomes less likely as you increase speed and move into higher gears.
If you want to release the clutch while the car is stationary and the engine is still running, make sure you return the gearstick to the neutral position first. Doing so will completely disengage engine and wheels. If you fail to select neutral before releasing the clutch, either the wheels will turn or the engine will stall.