English Phrasal Verbs

Practice your English with Caroline Brown


Let's now have a look at the verb 'to run' combined with particles. Here are some of the most common expressions:

'to run across someone' means to meet them by accident.

  • I hadn't seen Gloria for ages when I ran across her in the supermarket.
  • I ran across an old friend in town today. I hadn't seen him for ages.

'to run around' means to be very busy doing lots of things.

  • I'm always running around trying to get everything done on time.
  • I spent all morning running around trying to find the things you needed.

'to run away' means to leave, often secretly, because you're unhappy.

  • He was very unhappy in boarding school and ran away twice.
  • She ran away from home at sixteen and went to live with a friend in London.

'to run down' means to move quickly to a place in a lower position.

  • When I called her, she ran down so fast she nearly fell.
  • When I heard the news I ran down the street to tell Lily who lives at the bottom.

'to run down' also means to deliberately reduce the size of something, for example stock.

  • Stock is very expensive. We're trying to run it down to a minimum.
  • They are running the company down by not replacing people who leave.

'to run someone down' means to hit a person when driving your car.

  • I was crossing the road when a car nearly ran me down.
  • She's in hospital after being run down by a car on Market Street.

'to run into' problems means to meet or encounter difficulties.

  • We ran into huge financial difficulties when the construction went over budget.
  • The company has run into difficulties since the introduction of the euro.

'to run into' something when you're driving means to hit something.

  • When I was parking, I ran into a post.
  • I didn't brake quickly enough and ran into the car in front.

'to run off' means to escape or leave a place quickly.

  • The boys took some sweets from the shop and ran off laughing.
  • She waved goodbye and ran off to play with her friends.

'to run off with' something is to steal it.

  • They hit the man and ran off with his wallet and mobile phone.
  • The financial manager ran off with half a million of the company's money.


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