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    #1

    run across vs cross

    1) A black cat jumped off the wall and ran across my path.
    2) A black cat jumped off the wall and crossed my path.


    Can someone please tell me which of the above sentences sounds natural? Any better ways of putting it?

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: run across vs cross

    Quote Originally Posted by daemon99 View Post
    1) A black cat jumped off the wall and ran across my path.
    2) A black cat jumped off the wall and crossed my path.


    Can someone please tell me which of the above sentences sounds natural? Any better ways of putting it?
    They are both OK. I prefer the first one.

  2. jerry081958's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: run across vs cross

    Quote Originally Posted by daemon99 View Post
    1) A black cat jumped off the wall and ran across my path.
    2) A black cat jumped off the wall and crossed my path.


    Can someone please tell me which of the above sentences sounds natural? Any better ways of putting it?


    Of these two, yes, the first one is better. Another way to say it:

    A black cat jumped off the wall and ran right in front of me.

    Hey, that sounds like bad luck. (If you're superstitious.)

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    #4

    Re: run across vs cross

    Thanks a lot, guys!

    If I replaced path with way, would it still work?

    Hey, that sounds like bad luck. (If you're superstitious.)
    This was two days ago but nothing bad has happened to me so far.

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    #5

    Re: run across vs cross

    Quote Originally Posted by daemon99 View Post
    1) A black cat jumped off the wall and ran across my path.
    2) A black cat jumped off the wall and crossed my path.

    Can someone please tell me which of the above sentences sounds natural? Any better ways of putting it?
    I think jerry081958 has hinted at the core of the issue here.

    Number 1 is more everyday, idiomatic English. In most senses it is more natural.

    However, number 2 uses the phrase "crossed my path". This phrase is suggestive of the superstition about black cats, usually phrased something like, "It is bad luck if a black cat crosses your path". When talking about this superstition, the phrase "cross(ed) my path" is usually used. Otherwise it is not common to say "crossed my path" - it sounds a little old fashioned. For example, "A dog crossed my path" sounds correct, but a little unusual.

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    #6

    Re: run across vs cross

    Thanks a lot, Munch!

    I have always had this question about in front of and behind.

    A black cat jumped off the wall and ran right in front of me.
    In the above sentence, does in front of me clearly indicate that the cat ran across the road -- I mean, was its direction of movement perpendicular to mine? Or could it also mean that it ran in the same direction as mine and a little ahead of me, which is not what I meant to say in my original sentence? I have a similar confusion about behind too?

    It would be of great help to me if someone could clarify it for me.

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    #7

    Re: run across vs cross

    Quote Originally Posted by daemon99 View Post
    I have always had this question about in front of and behind.

    In the above sentence, does in front of me clearly indicate that the cat ran across the road -- I mean, was its direction of movement perpendicular to mine? Or could it also mean that it ran in the same direction as mine and a little ahead of me, which is not what I meant to say in my original sentence? I have a similar confusion about behind too?

    It would be of great help to me if someone could clarify it for me.

    I meant the cat ran across the road perpendicular to my direction. If the cat ran in the same direction ahead of me a bit, I would say:

    The cat jumped off the wall and ran out ahead of me a little.

    Behind? That's the opposite of ahead. If the cat is ahead of me, the cat is first and I would be next or behind the cat. If I am first and the cat is second, the cat would be behind me. How is that?

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    #8

    Re: run across vs cross

    Thanks a lot, jerry!

    Behind? That's the opposite of ahead. If the cat is ahead of me, the cat is first and I would be next or behind the cat. If I am first and the cat is second, the cat would be behind me. How is that?


    I mean, if the cat ran behind me, does that mean it ran across the road perpendicular to my direction -behind me? Or does it mean that it ran in the opposite direction -behind me?

    The cat jumped off the wall and ran out ahead of me a little.


    And why did you use ran out ahead? Wouldn't ran ahead do? Also, can I replace path with way in my original sentence?

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    #9

    Re: run across vs cross

    The cat ran behind me- this could be used if the cat was going in your direction, or if it ran across your path, etc. If the direction if that important, then I'd rephrase this sentence. Also, the context would give clues- depending on what the person was doing, the cat's behaviour might be more obvious- was it startled and running from the speaker, etc?

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    #10

    Re: run across vs cross

    Thanks a lot, Tdol!

    If I wanted to be specific about the direction, would the following sentences work?

    1) The cat ran across my path/across the path behind me.
    2) The cat ran away behind me.

    Also can I replace path with way?

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