run a vacuum

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aaronsun666

Senior Member
Mandarin
The Big Bang Theory Season 04 Episode 03


Raj: Well, if that’s the case, Penny will have to get satellite TV and maybe once a week run a vacuum through this place.

Does it sound natural, "run a vacuum"? A Yahoo-search of these key words didn't get any similar results but "how to run vacuum?", even "a" was omitted.
 
  • se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It sounds normal to me. Are you aware that the speaker is referring to a vacuum cleaner, rather than anything more closely related to astrophysics?

    The OED doesn't have any examples with vacuum cleaners, but it has examples like he ran the car off the road.
     
    Last edited:

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    A Yahoo-search of these key words didn't get any similar results but "how to run vacuum?", even "a" was omitted.
    When I search Yahoo "how to run a vacuum" (the "a" is needed grammatically), several of the results on the first page are about vacuum cleaners. Operating a vacuum is a simple task most people learn as small children so it's not a popular "how to" subject.
    Run is not specifically associated with "vacuum" but with through. "Run" is not in the sense of operate machinery but more move quickly. You could run a mop through the place if it weren't carpeted.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    The verb "run" has many transitive uses. Have a look at the WR dictionary definitions in run .

    Examples that come to mind:
    ... run a mop over the kitchen floor
    ... run a comb through your hair
    ... run that idea past me again
    ... run him through with your sword
    ... run the story in the first edition tomorrow
    ... run some water into the bath
     
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