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Hi all,

1.) A car hit and seriously injured an old woman today.
2.) An ___________________________ today. (run)

I am supposed to rewrite the first sentence using a phrasal verb with run, and using the first and last words given.
My try:

2.a) An old woman was run down by a car today.
2.b) An old woman was run into by a car today.

The answer key is:
3.) An old woman was run over by a car today.

I've checked the dictionary, as usual, and it says that "run over" means "to hit someone or something with a vehicle and drive over them, injuring or killing them," and I fail to see any reference to the car driving over the woman in the original sentence (#1). Am I missing something? I mean, is the being-driven-over thing a necessary component or not?

Another question: after checking the dic, I understand 2.b (the one with run into) is incorrect, as the object should be a thing, not a person. Is this correct? Would "An old cat was run into by a car today" be fine?

Last but not least, is 2.a correct and natural? On the basis of this entry in the dic, I'd say so ... but am not sure at all.

Thank you very much!
Emotion: smile
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I see it this way, regardless of dictionary.

I ran down an old woman today (my car struck her and she fell to the ground)

I ran into a tree or a wall (something stationary)

I ran over a loose manhole cover.

We often hear "I ran over a person", as well, even though we usually don't mean that the wheels went across the person.
To me, "run down" means that the person driving the car had deliberately chased the woman and hit her. It implies that the injury was not an accident.
"run over" implies an accidental event, and also used for something that is low to the ground (like a cat or small dog or rock) or something difficult to see.

"Run into" means hitting something that is taller than the hood of the vehicle. "The car ran into the deer that jumped in front of it", or "the brakes failed and the car ran into the tree"
It also implies that there was more damage to the car than to the object that was hit.
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Hi,

1.) A car hit and seriously injured an old woman today.
2.) An ___________________________ today. (run)

I am supposed to rewrite the first sentence using a phrasal verb with run, and using the first and last words given.
My try:

2.a) An old woman was run down by a car today.
2.b) An old woman was run into by a car today.

The answer key is:
3.) An old woman was run over by a car today. Yes, best

I've checked the dictionary, as usual, and it says that "run over" means "to hit someone or something with a vehicle and drive over them, injuring or killing them," and I fail to see any reference to the car driving over the woman in the original sentence (#1). Am I missing something? I mean, is the being-driven-over thing a necessary component or not? Your exercise assumes that 'hit' and 'run over' are the same. I wouldn't exactly agree. With 'hit', maybe the impact flung her to one side.
Having said that, we often take a loose appproach to using 'run over'.

Another question: after checking the dic, I understand 2.b (the one with run into) is incorrect, as the object should be a thing, not a person. Is this correct? Would "An old cat was run into by a car today" be fine? No. 'run over a cat'. 'run into a wall.'
'Run into' suggests the object stopped the car's progress.

Last but not least, is 2.a correct and natural? On the basis of this entry in the dic, I'd say so ... but am not sure at all. 'Run down' adds a tone to the statement. The exact tone depends on the context. Some things it can suggest include -
eg The driver was very careless (maybe he went up on the sidewalk, maybe he was drunk)
eg He wanted to hit her
eg He pursued her before hitting her (eg the criminal tried to run down the police officer)

Clive
Philip, A-Stars and Clive, thank you very much. Emotion: smile
No dictionary could give such a clear picture of those nuances and implications.

[8]
TanitPhilip, A-Stars and Clive, thank you very much.
No dictionary could give such a clear picture of those nuances and implications.



Even though our interpretations don't match perfectly and there are overlapping meanings! That's the beauty of English - and the beauty of participation in these forums.
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I suppose I am re-iterating the above.
but Run into (another meaning) - you can run into a friend, eg "I was walking down the street today and I ran into an old friend from school", doesn't mean you hit them with anything, just that you encountered them.

2a. means the old woman was run down, inferring something hostile, like a hit & run, or meaning to run down the old lady, probably doing a lot of damage to her. It is probably not what is meant here. If it was a gangster that was run down, yet it could be right.
2b. is probably not what is meant. being "run into" usually means being hit by a moving thing, could be a person or a car, but not knocked down or driven over.
2c. is probably what is meant. The car actually drove right over her, is the meaning this implies, like if a car ran over a cat, the cat would be squashed, unless the wheels missed it. But the car goes right over it, or the old woman.
Thanks for your insight! Emotion: smile

Jeannie, I am now tempted to ask you about the difference (if any) between "run into sb" and "run across sb", as in the same exercise there was also this sentence transformation:
By chance I met someone I hadn't seen for years.
I ________________ for years.

I wrote both
a.) I ran across someone I hadn't seen for years.

and
b.) I ran into someone I hadn't seen for years.

However, according to the book (this one , should anybody be wondering which one...), only b.) is correct, while the dictionary gives the same definition for both:

Run across sb:
to meet someone you know when you are not expecting to:
I ran across several old friends when I went back to my hometown.

Run into sb:

to meet someone you know when you are not expecting to:
Graham ran into someone he used to know at school the other day.
Hi,
If you are interested in all 'run' idioms, here are a few more.

Tom likes to run his wife down. He likes to criticize her when he is with other people.

Tom ran his opponent down in the last 10 metres of the race. Tom finally caught up to him and passed him.

Mary searched for a special book for a long time, and she finally ran it down in a small bookstore in London. She finally located a copy after a long and determined search.

Tom ran up a big bill on his credit card last month. He bought a lot of things and spent a lot of money.

Tom asked his tailor to run up his new suit before the weekend. He asked him to make his new suit quickly.

There are others, too.

Clive
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