came running vs ran

Vronsky

Senior Member
Russian - Russia
Hello there,
I've often come across phrases with a verb of movement + present participle, for example "came running" instead of the mere "ran".
Some examples:

Woken by Little Princess' cries, the royal household came running in to the kitchen.
...
"Look!" whispered Little Princess, as Scruff came running over to the kitchen window.

Luckily for us, the postman came running towards us shouting

The waiter came running up to me and I quickly took out ten dollars and gave them to the waiter.

They came running down the stairs.

And so on.​

Now I wonder whether 'came running' sounds more idiomatic than 'ran'?
 
  • heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It's no more idiomatic than 'run' in these examples, it just puts the speaker/narrator (and indirectly the reader) at the location the runner ran to.

    They ran down the stairs. The speaker/narrator could be anywhere.
    They came running down the stairs. The speaker/narrator is at the bottom of the stairs.
     

    Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The reason for this is to distinguish between 'come' and 'go'.

    They went into the kitchen ---> They went into the kitchen at a run ---> They went into the kitchen, running ---> They went running into the kitchen

    They came into the kitchen ---> They came into the kitchen at a run ---> They came into the kitchen, running ---> They came running into the kitchen

    Cross-posted
     

    Vronsky

    Senior Member
    Russian - Russia
    Thank you, everyone. Especially, heypresto. :)
    I understand the difference between come and go. I wanted to know the difference between 'came running' and 'ran'.

    And also after thinking some more about it, I think 'came running' actually doesn't mean that the person was running. Maybe they were in kind of a hurry, but not necessary they were running. Running literally down the stairs might be very dangerous :warning:
     
    Last edited:

    Vronsky

    Senior Member
    Russian - Russia
    Wait a moment... Do you mean that run has the same meaning as go, and can't be used in situations when someone approached me? That is, he "ran up to me" is incorrect and I should say "He came running to me"?
     

    heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    'He ran up to me' is fine. As is 'he ran away from me'. 'Run/ran/running' only indicates the speed of movement, not the direction.

    You add the direction by saying 'towards/up to/into/out of/away/northwards/to the left/away from/up/down etc'.
     

    Vronsky

    Senior Member
    Russian - Russia
    'He ran up to me' is fine. As is 'he ran away from me'. 'Run/ran/running' only indicates the speed of movement, not the direction.

    You add the direction by saying 'towards/up to/into/out of/away/northwards/to the left/away from/up/down etc'.
    Thank you very much.
     
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