Collocations With The Word Run

Collocations are words that usually go together in English.

Here we are going to look at words that go with 'run' to make useful and popular expressions you will hear in social and professional contexts.

Run smoothly

If something 'runs smoothly', it works well or goes exactly as planned.


  • If everything runs smoothly, we should be moving into our new house this time next week. Fingers crossed!
  • At the meeting, I informed my boss that everything was running smoothly with the project. He looked very relieved to hear that.
  • The surgeon told the patient that the operation ran smoothly, and that she should make a full recovery.
  • If you want something to run smoothly, you need to put in the necessary hours of planning and preparation beforehand. 

Run the risk of

Do something or be in a situation with a high chance of a negative outcome.


  • If you tell Paul what really happened, you run the risk of making him very upset. It's best he doesn't find out.
  • Anyone who criticises our boss runs the risk of losing their job. She does not respond well to any negative feedback.
  • You're running the risk of failure by trying to expand your business so quickly. You should be taking a much more cautious approach.

Run a business/project

When you 'run a business' or 'run a project', you're in control of it, or cause it to work or operate. It implies an active engagement.


  • Jack has been running the family shop ever since his father retired. 
  • Tom has no clue how to run a business. He's only in that position because of who he knows.
  • Helen ran the project superbly. She was always on-hand to solve issues and make decisions. 

On the run

If you are 'on the run', you are attempting to avoid capture, most commonly as a fugitive from the police. It can also be used to refer to doing something while moving or hurrying from place to place, or in relation to somebody in a vulnerable position.  


  • The suspect has been on the run for a week now, and the police are stepping up their search.
  • I'm running late for work this morning. I will have to eat my breakfast on the run!
  • We've got the opposition on the run now! Let's finish them off in the second half!

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