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The guy fell and the police car bumped over him.

I was told on another forum that "bumped over" would not be natural here, but is it still okay to use it instead of "ran over"?

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    The construction is unusual but the meaning is clear, emphasising the obstacle that his body presented to the police vehicle and suggesting that the police were unconcerned. Whether it's okay is really a matter of personal preference and context. Aug 27, 2020 at 13:14
  • No, it is not. The police car ran over him.
    – Lambie
    Aug 27, 2020 at 13:46
  • Generally, a person bumps into something or stumbles over something. A car might bounce over something.
    – Lambie
    Aug 27, 2020 at 14:23

2 Answers 2

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The guy fell and the police car bumped over him.

The meaning is understandable, but it sounds like a child wrote it.

"Bumped" means 'collide with', for example, "the car bumped into him".

However, it can also be used a sound verb like crunched or crackled. "Bump" is the noise of two things colliding, for example, "the car bumped as it ran over him".

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Its very strange to say that. It sounds like the car went over him, giving a gentle bump, in a kind of friendly way, but everyone was okay. That's not what happens when a car goes over a person. It suggests that the car was bounced around and everybody was a little bit surprised, but not all that concerned.

The car bumped over the potholes in the drive, and up to the old house.

There is a specific phrasal verb to use for "a car going over something" and it is "run over":

The guy fell and the police car ran him over. (or "over him")

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