I want to know the difference between 'people that run' and ' running people'in meaning.

  1. I know the people that run.
  2. I know the running people.

What is the difference between two sentences above?

  • Would add two clear examples based on "people that run" and "running people"?
    – Cardinal
    Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 10:09
  • As a native speaker of American English, I can say that it would be rare to use running people. For instance, we might say People that run everyday enjoy a healthy lifestyle but we wouldn't say Running people enjoy a healthy lifestyle. Likewise, your sentence number 2 would be rare. Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 10:30
  • "People who run" would normally be understood to mean "people who have chosen running as a form of physical exercise". "running people" might be any group of people who happen to be moving swiftly on their feet for some reason...Godzilla is coming, maybe, or there is a big sale.
    – TimR
    Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 11:18
  • In an election year, "people who run" could also refer to candidates.
    – J.R.
    Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 19:04

2 Answers 2


Your examples are not quite idiomatic. We might say

Look at all those people running!

The boys over there are running, their parents are sitting down.


People that run every day do see health benefits.

In the first two examples we are observing the current activity of people; running is happening right now.

In the final example we are talking about people that on some specified occasions run. These people may not be running right now.


In British English:

"I know people that run" would refer to people who sometimes run, or that that is their hobby. An example would be "I know people who cycle and I know people that run".

"I know running people" sounds like bad English for that above.

The word "the" does not belong in either sentence.

As for the phrases:

"people that run" refers to people who sometimes run. Generally speaking, as a hobby. For example "I know people that run"

"running people" to me sounds like bad English for people who run for a hobby. Personally I would use the word "runners" for people who run as a hobby.

A phrase like "Look at all those running people" should be "Look at all those people running"

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