Make sure you don't run over us.

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ausguerila

New Member
English
I was walking along a beach and almost ran into a woman with her child. The woman said to me: "just make sure you don't run over us". I have never met her before or even engaged in conversation. Could anyone make sense of her comment towards me?
 
  • sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    It's a much more polite comment than I might have made given the circumstances you describe.

    It's a nicer way of saying "Watch where you're [expletive] going."

    We have no idea where you are, but you seem to imply that women are out of place in making a comment when somebody almost runs into them.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    The woman sounds annoyed -> "If you are going to be running along the beach, at any time in the future, please ensure that you don't run over us".

    To run [someone] over (or to run over [someone]) = to knock down a person by driving a vehicle carelessly -> in your example it is used metaphorically.
     

    ausguerila

    New Member
    English
    The comment "just make sure you don't run us over" does not make sense without any previous context. As mentioned in my 1st post I have never met the lady or child nor engaged in conversation. I could understand what PaulQ commented but that would imply that I made physical contact with the woman and child. The act of almost walking into the woman and child does not constitute the act of walking into the woman and child, which would give off the comment PaulQ quoted in red.

    How could her comment make sense without any previous context?
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    The comment "just make sure you don't run us over" does not make sense without any previous context. As mentioned in my 1st post I have never met the lady or child nor engaged in conversation. I could understand what PaulQ commented but that would imply that I made physical contact with the woman and child. The act of almost walking into the woman and child does not constitute the act of walking into the woman and child, which would give off the comment PaulQ quoted in red.

    How could her comment make sense without any previous context?
    You provided context when you wrote: "I was walking along a beach and almost ran into a woman with her child."
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    So far sdgraham and PaulQ have both made sense of it. I agree with them.
    and almost ran into a woman with her child
    She said, just as politely but more concisely, "Please make sure that you do not run so close to us that you run over us instead of almost running in to us".
     

    ausguerila

    New Member
    English
    What was said was "just make sure you don't run us over. How could this make sense without prior context to the event?
     

    Enquiring Mind

    Senior Member
    English - the Queen's
    She could see/hear you were approaching and felt that there was a risk of you running them over. That's the context.

    Another possibility is that if the child was very young, she was trying to encourage it to talk and understand language, and maybe even teach the child the language associated with the important lesson about not getting run over. I do this all the time with our grandchildren, often making up humorous or even ridiculous examples. It encourages them to interact, and develop logical thinking, correct speech patterns and vocabulary. And it's great fun!
     
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    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    "Walking" along a beach? "Almost ran into..."? This isn't very enlightening context. Were the others lying down on the beach? Were you not looking where you were going?

    I don't see how you can "run over" someone if you're walking and they are standing up. Was it perhaps speed-walking? Was she a native speaker?
     

    ausguerila

    New Member
    English
    Her comment "just make sure you don't run us over" is a continuation or addition to a conversation. It is something that is said with another comment prior to. How could it be made sense of as commented without this context?
     

    Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    ausguerila, it's up to you to provide the context in which this statement was made. Was there a prior comment? What was going on in the conversation?

    Also, please answer the questions velisarius asked in #11. How can you "run over" someone while you're walking, if they're standing up?
     
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    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Her comment "just make sure you don't run us over" is a continuation or addition to a conversation.
    No, not necessarily.
    It is something that is said with another comment prior to.
    No, not necessarily.
    How could it be made sense of as commented without this context?
    Easily, as you have seen. Why are you insisting that there has to be some prior conversation, when no such prior conversation is needed?
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    What was said was "just make sure you don't run us over. How could this make sense without prior context to the event?
    The prior context was that you almost ran into her...

    Do you understand that the present tense in English can also express the future?

    Do you understand that what was said could be interpreted as "Be careful!"?

    Do you understand that the woman was shocked and that she was probably worried that her child might have been hurt?
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I don't think we've been told the whole story. The context isn't clear to me at all. Was the OP running or walking, and at what speed? Were the two people standing up facing the OP, or with their backs to him? Perhaps they were lying on the beach sunbathing with their eyes closed when they were startled by someone who very nearly trampled all over them.
     

    ausguerila

    New Member
    English
    I am still looking for an explanation as to how the phrase "just make sure you don't run us over" makes sense without any prior context.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Context is critical for making sense of (any) language. The simple meaning of the phrase requires assuming a likely context: “You are driving a car and might run over us (the car wheels go over us and injure us).”
    English words and phrases can have many different meanings. Understanding them depends on where, when and how they are used. When you post a question, please include as much background information and context as you can.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    JulianStuart's explication of the context that occasioned the statement makes sense to me. I don't understand why you think her comment requires a previous conversation. What specific part of her sentence -- what word or phrase -- seems to you to require a previous verbal interaction?
     

    ausguerila

    New Member
    English
    With what has been said there must not be anything else to add apart from an answer to the question: how can the phrase" just make sure you don't run us over" make sense without any prior context?
     

    Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    As sdgraham said 19 posts ago, you gave us the prior context in your original post, ausguerila. You said you were walking along a beach and almost ran into a woman with her child. Is that what happened, or not?
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    It makes sense simply because you told us "I was walking along a beach and almost ran into a woman with her child." That is the prior context. Why should she not say "Just make sure you don't run over us"? You almost did.

    Somebody throws a punch at me - to miss, we are acting. I say "Just make sure you don't actually hit me."
    A child is filling a bucket with water from a hose but is not paying attention. His father says "Just make sure you don't let it overflow".

    What is your difficulty in understanding this? You say your native language is English, but you don't seem to understand something which seems simple to the English speakers who have contributed to this thread.
     
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    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    how can the phrase" just make sure you don't run us over" make sense without any prior context?
    If you don't know what the sun is or what the color blue is, "The sky is blue." makes no sense. Things that you know or can assume are context.
    In this situation, you know what "being run over" means? You know it's something that you don't want to happen to you. You have enough empathy for other people that you wouldn't want to it to happen to them. Likewise, the woman knows she doesn't want it to happen to her child and you know that the woman wouldn't want it to happen to her child. You all know that you almost did it. You know that someone who almost does something is likely to succeed in doing this in the future. The woman knows she doesn't want you to succeed in running over her child in the future. She warns you not to do it because it seems like something you would do because you almost did.
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    With what has been said there must not be anything else to add apart from an answer to the question: how can the phrase" just make sure you don't run us over" make sense without any prior context?
    The question is not without point. The word 'just' makes the utterance a modification of a preceding remark.
    The implication is '[It is all right for you go out for a walk, but] just make sure you don't run us over'.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I was walking along a beach
    With what has been said there must not be anything else to add apart from an answer to the question: how can the phrase" just make sure you don't run us over" make sense without any prior context?
    I note that you put your language as "English" - this would indicate that you are a native English speaker - is that so?
     
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