English Lessons


All about "run"

Let's take a look today at different idioms, or slang expressions, that are based on the verb "to run" and its noun version, "run." The primary meaning of "to run" is, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, "to go faster than a walk; specifically, to go steadily by springing steps so that both feet leave the ground for an instant in each step." But there are a lot of other uses for this handy word whose meanings are meant as a figure of speech.


It's no secret that the both of us are running out of time

Caption 30, Adele Hello

 Play Caption


It just was a movie that didn't end with all the pizzazz that it should have because they ran out of money by the end.

Captions 70-71,  Ask Jimmy Carter: Interview with Robin Williams

 Play Caption


To "run out" of something means that you will soon have no more of something left. The phrase "to run out of gas" literally means that your car will soon have no more gas. But it is also a figure of speech meaning that you are getting tired and have very little energy left. "I wanted to finish my homework, but I ran out of gas."


In the long run, there's still time to change the road you're on.

Captions 1-2, Led Zeppelin: Stairway to Heaven

 Play Caption



The phrase "in the long run" means over a long period of time, or eventually.


Yeah, she'd stay there till her blood ran cold.

Caption 22, Krayolas: La Conquistadora

 Play Caption



The saying "blood runs cold" means that somebody gets very frightened and fears for the worst.


And wonder runs in the family.

Caption 14, Selena Gomez: Ramona And Beezus

 Play Caption



If something "runs in the family," it suggests that some kind of illness is inherited in a family or some kind of behavior is seen in a family, as if it were inherited. 


I was running late and I decided in order to make up the time, that I was gonna speed my car.

Caption 30, Drivers Wanted: Pizza Delivery

 Play Caption



To be "running late" does not necessarily mean that you are literally running—although people do often run when they are late—but simply that you are late for something like an appointment. 


Further Learning
See if you can guess the meaning of the following figures of speech using "run." The answers are at the very bottom of the page, so you can check them afterwards.


A. to get off to a running start
B. to make a run for it
C. to run a fever or temperature
D. to run a tight ship
E. to run around in circles
F. to run into a stone wall
G. to run someone ragged


You can also go to Yabla English and find more videos that use run, running, ran etc. to see the different phrases used by native English speakers. 









A. to start something, such a project, very quickly and efficiently
B. to escape something, whether literally by running or any other means
C. to have a fever or a high temperature
D. to supervise very effectively and efficiently
E. to be inefficient, wasting time
F. to be stopped from making progress
G. to exhaust somebody by giving them too many tasks

Soluzioni al Quiz: Yes/No Questions

Ecco le soluzioni ai quiz nella lezione Yes/No questions, short answers e question tags


  1. Is Janet at school today? Yes, she is.
  2. Do you want to go out now? Yes, I do.

  3. Did she feed the dogs yesterday? No, she didn’t.

  4. Have you ever been to an Apple store? No, I haven’t.

  5. Wouldn’t you like to come with us? Yes, I would.


  1. You went to the States in December, didn’t you?

  2. Johanna didn’t go to London, did she?

  3. Atlanta is in Georgia, isn’t it?

  4. Anna’s grandparents own a beautiful house, don’t they?

  5. Jill can’t ride a bike, can she?



Signup to get Free English Lessons sent by email

Domande brevi e risposte brevi in inglese

Se dobbiamo rispondere ad una domanda in inglese con un semplice yes (sì) o con un no, allora dobbiamo ricorrere alle short answers (risposte brevi). Se, invece, dobbiamo fare una domanda che confermi ciò che abbiamo appena espresso, useremo le question tags (domande brevi).


Domande e risposte brevi, la cui struttura però non è così semplice o scontata. Soprattutto, nel caso delle short answers, è necessario prima di tutto saper riconoscere le cosiddette Yes/No questions, ovvero quelle domande che cominciano con un ausiliare (be, have o, do nei vari tempi verbali) o con un modale (can, could, will…), seguito dal soggetto e dagli altri elementi della frase (verbo principale, complementi…).


Do you have any pets?

Avete animali domestici?

Caption 40, Ashley Tisdale - introduces her dog Maui

 Play Caption


Can you hear me now?

Riesci a sentirmi ora?

Caption 3, Adele - Hello

 Play Caption


Alle Yes/No questions risponderemo quindi con una short answer affermativa o negativa, in cui si riprende il pronome soggetto e l’ausiliare con cui inizia la domanda:


Does Peter go to your school? -Yes, he does.

Peter frequenta la tua scuola? -.


Nell’inglese colloquiale, però, non è sempre rispettato l’uso delle short answers: talvolta yes o no si trovano come unica parola nella risposta.


Le domande del tipo “è vero?”, “non è vero?” sono molto comuni nella lingua inglese parlata e si chiamano question tags.

Sono domande brevi poste in fondo alla frase e si costruiscono utilizzando l’ausiliare della frase dichiarativa (be, have, can, ecc.).


Sarah can ski very well, can’t she?

Sarah sa sciare molto bene, non è vero?


It is an odd name though when you think about it, isn't it... Speed?

È un nome strano, però, se ci pensi, non è vero... Speed?

Caption 2, Get to know - The Town of Speed

 Play Caption


Quando non vi sono ausiliari, le question tags si costruiscono con do, does, al presente e con did al passato:



Richard Hammond just drove me here… -Oh, did he?

Richard Hammond mi ha portata qui proprio ora… -Oh, è vero?

Captions 32-33, BRIT Awards - Amy Winehouse Interview

 Play Caption


Ricordate questa regola importante:


  • se la frase dichiarativa è positiva, la question tag è negativa


San Francisco is a beautiful city, isn’t it?

San Francisco è una città bellissima, non è vero?


  • se invece la frase dichiarativa è negativa, la question tag è positiva


It doesn't give you a great deal of confidence, does it?

Non ti dà una buona dose di fiducia, è vero?

Caption 6, ABC Science Online - An interview with Douglas Adams

 Play Caption


Mettetevi alla prova con i nostri quiz!

Usate le parole per scrivere delle Yes/No questions. Poi scrivete una risposta breve affermativa (+) o negativa (-). Fate attenzione al tempo verbale degli ausiliari!


  1. Janet / be / at school / today / +
  2. you / want / to go / out / now / +
  3. she / feed / the dogs / yesterday / -
  4. you / ever / been / to an Apple store / -
  5. you / would / not / like / to come / with us / +


Completate le seguenti frasi con le question tags appropriate.


  1. You went to the States in December, _____ ?
  2. Johanna didn’t go to London, _____ ?
  3. Atlanta is in Georgia, _____ ?
  4. Anna’s grandparents own a beautiful house, _____ ?
  5. Jill can’t ride a bike, _____ ?


Troverete le soluzioni al quiz qui.



You May Also Like