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It sounds like the video is saying (link with a time stamp corresponds the following)

we arrived at the cinema just in time to catch the start of the movie we arrived at the cinema just in time so we were going to the cinema we were hoping to catch the start of the movie we were running a bit late but we arrived at the cinema just in time to catch the start of the movie

What does "running" mean in "we were running a bit late"?

This post gives this explanation

i'm running a bit late: means you're explaining to the person that you're a little bit late to something; an event or an appointment. i will be a little bit late: means that you're telling them that you may not come to them on time.

I understand the "telling them" part, I cannot understand the "explaining" part, I didn't see any explanation, "you're" just informing/telling someone.

So, what does "running" mean in "running a bit late"?

  • It's a clock analogy. The operation of a clock is called "running." If a clock runs late, it runs too slowly so that if you rely on its time, you'll be late for your appointments. – user105719 Feb 11 at 1:33
  • @user105719 I got the analogy. It is very helpful. Thank you! Consider the cited video, If the late is actually caused by a slowly running clock, that is an explanation. Although "running a bit late" is just telling/informing the fact of late without an actual explanation, right? – peterpanai Feb 11 at 2:17
  • Right. For small or inconsequential appointments, most people will accept the excuse without an explanation. After all, everyone misjudges schedules, and we hope for the same forbearance from others when we're running late. – user105719 Feb 11 at 2:46
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    That definition is not at all helpful - forget about it. If you are running late for an appointment, some stage in your preparations has taken longer than it should have done, making you late in doing everything else that comes after. Unless you can catch up (drive to the cinema faster?) you will be late. – Kate Bunting Feb 11 at 10:59
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Native speakers don’t know, and don’t need to know, precisely what the meaning of “running” is in the phrasal verb “running late”. We only need to know the meaning of the phrasal verb as a whole.

I can’t find an etymology for “running late” but I imagine it’s related to either:

  • physically running to catch up, or
  • the notion that a series of events is falling behind in its expected timing (where “run” takes this meaning: ”a continuous period or series especially of things of identical or similar sort”).

But (to reiterate) the important thing for a learner is just the meaning of the phrasal verb as its own unit of language.

Following @KateBunting’s comment, if you are running late for an appointment, it typically means some stage in your preparations has taken longer than it should have done, or perhaps you failed to start your preparations early enough, making you late in doing everything else that comes after that. Unless you can catch up (perhaps skip changing your clothes, spend less time on your makeup, or drive faster) you will be late for your appointment.

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