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How Many Meanings of 'Run' Do You Know?

发布时间:2020-07-31 20:47:10 来源:听力鸭英语网

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30 July 2020

Here is the truth about the English language: Some words take up so much space in the dictionary that they could be their own book.

And the word "run" would be the biggest book of all.

When you think of "run," the first thing that might come to mind is a person moving very quickly with their legs. But "run" can act as both a verb and a noun, with meanings too numerous to count -- unless you like counting to 645. That is the number of definitions that Oxford English Dictionary has found for "run" for its upcoming 2037 edition.

The massive number of uses for this three-letter word hit a growth spurt during the Industrial Revolution. It has not slowed down since.

The good news is you can often guess the meaning by how the speaker or writer uses it. So, instead of thinking of "run" as an impossible list of definitions, think of it as a power tool of language. It can help you communicate a lot of ideas.

In fact, I bet you already know more than you realize. So on today's Everyday Grammar program, I am going help you test your knowledge on "run" as a verb. I will say a sentence and ask a question. You will have a short time to choose your answers.

Ready? Here is the first one:

The crosstown bus runs every 20 minutes on weekdays.

Which meaning of "run" did the speaker use?

to move quickly using your legs to travel along a usual route to make a short, quick visit

The answer is b. to travel along a usual route. It can also mean to travel at usual times on the route. We use "run" in this way when talking about public transportation, such as buses and trains. A bus can run every 20 minutes, for example. It can also run from First Street to Tenth Street.

Careful! Don't put the grass cutter down while it's running.

Which meaning of "run" did the speaker use?

to function or operate to test or check something or someone to produce a flow of liquid

The answer is a. to function or operate. This meaning is generally connected to mechanical or electrical objects and equipment. When the power for a piece of equipment is on, it is running. That also includes car engines and computers. A closely related meaning deals with starting or using a computer program.

Muriel Bowser ran for mayor of Washington, D.C. in 2018 and won.

Which meaning of "run" did the speaker use?

to test or check someone or something to direct the business or activities of to be a candidate for an official position

The answer is c. to be a candidate for an official position. We use this meaning for any person who can be chosen through an election, including for president, governor or mayor, or unrelated positions.

Moira has run a program for young athletes for three years.

Which meaning of "run" did the speaker use?

to direct the business or activities of to move quickly using your legs to make a short, quick visit

The answer is a. to direct the business or activities of. A person (or people) can run an organization, a company, a program or even an event. An official can also run an agency or a city, state or country. For instance, Muriel Bowser now runs the city of Washington, D.C.

I need to run a few errands to buy supplies. Then, I'm stopping at mom's house for lunch.

Which meaning of "run" did the speaker use?

to cost an amount to leave or go quickly to do a task that involves a quick trip

The answer is c. to do a task that involves a quick trip. We almost always use the verb "run" in relation to errands. We can say, for example, "I have (a few) errands to run" or "I need to run (a few) errands."

And here is the last one:

Sorry, I can't talk now. I have to run. I'm leading a meeting at 2 o'clock.

Which meaning of "run" did the speaker use?

to move quickly using your legs to leave or go quickly to direct the business or activities of

The answer is b. to leave or go quickly. This is a meaning we use informally with friends, close coworkers or family. For example, if you were on a phone call with a friend but you had to quickly end the call, you could tell the person you have to run.

Actually, I have to run now, too! Thanks for taking the quick test. Look and listen for the word "run" wherever English is being used. Then, ask yourself if you can guess the meaning by how the speaker or writer uses it.

Alice Bryant wrote this story for Learning English. Ashley Thompson was the editor.

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Words in This Story

dictionary - n. a reference book that contains words listed in alphabetical order and gives the words' meanings, forms and pronunciations

edition - n. a particular version of a book

growth spurt - n. an occurrence of growing quickly and suddenly in a short period of time

guess - v. to form an opinion or give an answer about something when you do not know much about it

function - v. to work or operate

errand - n. a short journey that you take to do or get something

task - n. a piece of work to be done or undertaken

informally - adv. in a way that is not suited for serious or official speech and writing

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