I don't know when to use against and when to use into, after bump:

The cat bumped against the door

The clumsy boy always bumps into the furniture

While dancing, she bumped into me several times

I ran after him, bumping against people in my hurry.

Bump into doesn't give me a headache when it means meet by chance, but it does only when it means physically hit by accident.


The two phrases are pretty much interchangeable, but certain situations might make the one or the other the more likely choice.

When you bump into something, there is usually some form of locomotion or lateral motion involved.

She bruised her thigh when she bumped into the corner of the table.

The dance floor was so crowded that the waltzing couples kept bumping into each other.

When something bumps against or is bumping against something else, there is usually no sense of locomotion, and the contact might be over a broader area.

The subway car was so crowded and the car shook so much on the rails that the standing passengers kept bumping against each other.

It was a tiny auto, and he was rather tall, so that his head bumped against the roof.

  • Thanks a lot. Could you please expand on locomotion and lateral motion because the dictionary doesn't help me much to grasp the concept. – Sara Oct 7 '18 at 19:53
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    Locomotion is the act of moving yourself from one place to another, for example, across the room or from a chair over to a window. Walking is a form of locomotion. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Oct 7 '18 at 20:06
  • 1
    lateral refers to movements along a horizontal axis (not along a vertical axis) – Tᴚoɯɐuo Oct 7 '18 at 20:07

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