The phrase "run past" can mean physically running by something, briefly explaining or summarizing something, cursorily reviewing something, or inadvertently overlooking something by moving through it too fast. The key aspect is doing something rapidly or superficially without giving careful attention.
The phrase "run past" has two main meanings. It means running by something, like a jogger going by a house. Figuratively, it usually means giving a brief outline or summary. For example, you could ask a coworker to "run past" the main points of an upcoming meeting. The phrase can also mean skimming a presentation for a final check or summarizing the highlights of a party. At times, "run past" implies overlooking or forgetting details in a rush. For example, a manager might skip some steps while explaining new policies quickly.
Here are some key points:
The word "run" has its roots in Old English and Proto-Germanic languages, where it primarily meant "to flow" or "to take flight." It has taken on various meanings, including moving quickly and executing a particular action. On the other hand, the word "past" originates from the late 13th century, derived from Old French and Vulgar Latin. It initially meant "to go by something" or "to cross over." The term has evolved to signify a point in time that has already occurred or a physical point that one has moved beyond. The specific phrase “run past” in its current usage, meaning to present something to someone for their opinion or approval, is a more recent development. It’s an idiomatic expression that has been widely adopted in English-speaking cultures.
"The only amusing thing is to see them run past the place where you are. They have races also with horses, which are ridden by little boys, who urge them on with incessant whipping...
- The complete works of Michael de Montaigne; tr. (ed.) by W. Hazlitt, 1842
To help you better understand this term, here are some examples in various situations:
Let's see how this phrase shows up in the world of entertainment:
If you're looking for different ways to express the same thought, check these out:
"Run past" has two main meanings. First, in a literal sense, it means to physically move quickly past a certain point. Second, in a figurative sense, it means to quickly show or tell someone about an idea, plan, or piece of work to get their opinion.
You can use it as a verb phrase to either describe a physical action or to talk about getting someone's take on something. For example: "I need to run these plans past my boss" or "He ran past the finish line."
The phrase can be used in both casual and formal settings. In a workplace, you might "run" a project idea "past" a manager. Casually, you might "run" plans for the weekend "past" a friend.
Yes, "run past" can be used in both written and spoken form. Whether in emails asking for feedback or in casual conversation, it serves the same purpose.
"Run past" often implies a quicker, less formal act of sharing for the purpose of getting feedback, whereas "show" or "tell" doesn't necessarily have the same urgency or need for response.
Generally, the phrase is considered polite, especially when asking for someone’s opinion or approval. As always, tone and context can affect how it's received.
In a literal sense, "run past" can describe both people and objects, like a river running past a city or a dog running past a fence.
Yes, in its figurative sense, "run past" can imply a quick review of an idea, project, or plan.
"Run past" is widely understood, but it's more commonly used in American English.
It often does imply that you're seeking approval or feedback, but it can also simply mean you're sharing information.
The phrase "run past" is a handy tool for quickly sharing something with someone to get their take on it. It can be used in all sorts of situations, from formal to casual, and it's good for people at any knowledge level.
Here's a quick recap: