Do a runner

Bassim

VIP Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2008
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Bosnian
Home Country
Bosnia Herzegovina
Current Location
Sweden
I have tried to use "do a runner" in my sentence. Would you please correct my mistakes? I have dropped "the" before nouns in the first sentence, and I am wondering if that is correct.

Everything was ready for Anna's birthday party: the cake with the fourteen candles, presents, colourful balloons, live band, and guests who sat along both sides of a long table, but she had done a runner. Her father smiled at everyone, while boiling with rage. Once she returned, he would beat her to teach her a lesson.
 

Charlie Bernstein

VIP Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2009
Member Type
Other
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
Get rid of the comma after "everyone."

It would be more fluid to say "she'd" than "she had."

I've never heard "done a runner." It sounds like a Britishism.
 

Bassim

VIP Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2008
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Bosnian
Home Country
Bosnia Herzegovina
Current Location
Sweden
You are right. "Do a runner" is BrE.
 

Tarheel

VIP Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2014
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
I might say: a live band. As for "do a runner" it's used in British English to indicate the person left the scene hastily to avoid something unpleasant. It doesn't seem to fit here. Had Anna been at the birthday party and left? Or did she just not show up? (I can't tell.)
 
Last edited:

Bassim

VIP Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2008
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Bosnian
Home Country
Bosnia Herzegovina
Current Location
Sweden
I have imagined that Anna did not like her birthday party with all those people, attention and noise, and she decided to run away, and therefore I used "do a runner."
 

Matthew Wai

VIP Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2013
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
China
Current Location
Hong Kong
I am fond of participles, so I would use 'sitting' instead of 'who sat'.
 

Tarheel

VIP Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2014
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
I have imagined that Anna did not like her birthday party with all those people, attention and noise, and she decided to run away, and therefore I used "do a runner."

It seems unlikely. At fourteen Anna should be capable of saying she didn't want that much fuss to be made over her birthday. (Not likely, but possible.)
 

Skrej

Key Member
Joined
May 11, 2015
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
I've heard 'do a runner' used in AmE as well, in the context of someone leaving without setting up their restaurant check. It's the gastronomical version of a gas drive-off .
 

Roman55

Key Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2014
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
British English
Home Country
Italy
Current Location
France
That is exactly the use I am most familiar with (in BrE), although Bassim's use of it is fine with me.
 
Top