He_____the bus so that he could reach office in time.

options given:

a. ran for
b. ran into
c. took
d. ran after

I could not solve this question and find it difficult to understand difference in the options.


ran for ran into and ran after are prepositional phrases that all i know but i am unable to determine the usage of each word.

ran after:here's what i researched.

Yes, ran after is a (transitive) phrasal verb.

To "run after" someone means to chase them with the intent to catch them and interact with them in some way.

If you parse it as a verb + a prepositional phrase, you would have a meaning of "to run at a later time than someone", which in most cases (including your example) does not make sense.

Source :https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/266745/is-ran-after-a-phrasal-verb

So ran after here too doesn't make sense

ran into: to bump into someone or something.

ran for: To flee toward something or some place, especially for shelter or safety:

took:reach for and hold

i am confused between ranfor and ran into and took

I need to analyze which option is correct and why. Am I missing out any rule?

  • Jalaj we're not gonna do homework here. We want to help you learn. Care to tell us what exactly confuses you?
    – M.A.R.
    Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 17:03
  • @inɒzɘmɒЯ.A.M I edited the code where i was confused.Qn is also not a homework.It appeared in my exams and i think i couldn't solve it Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 17:19
  • 1
    I would go for e) hijacked.
    – magd
    Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 19:43

3 Answers 3


ran for, ran after, and took all work in this sentence. In fact so does ran into but that is not what is being said here (that one is funny). The difference is their precise meaning. Note that the sentence is incorrect, it should read:

He __ the bus so he could reach the office in time.

1) He ran for the bus so he could reach the office in time.

This is the most reasonable answer and is appropriate for questions of this type. Using for implies there is a purpose to running, so you should follow it with something that justifies the action.

Examples: He ran for the presidential office. He ran for his own good.

2) He ran after the bus so he could reach the office in time.

He ran after shows an action taking place, use of after makes it sound like the man is chasing the bus, not merely getting it. This makes me think of the man actually trying to beat the bus to the bus stop.

Examples: He ran after the ball and into the street. He ran after the deer.

If there was a dog named Midnight, I would not say "He ran after Midnight." In this sentence, it sounds like midnight is a time. Instead, we would say "He ran for Midnight," just to avoid confusion.

3) He took the bus so he could reach the office in time.

This is plain and simple, and doesn't imply any need to run. The man simply took the bus.

Examples: He took the plane to get to Shanghai. He took the bag so that he would have books for class.


"Run for the bus" may mean that the bus is about to depart and walking could cause missing it. The exclamation "Go for it!" can be changed to "Run for it!" to indicate urgency (I'll leave it to you to look those up as well).

"Into" can be a preposition, "into the bus" could be just an adverbial phrase to define "run", to indicate the direction.

"Take" with means of transportation simply means "to use".

I take the train to work every morning.

"Take" with a direction means to follow.

When you reach the intersection take the left turn.

You already found the various flavors of "run after".

Hope this helps...

  • So is it ran for or ran after the correct Ans for the question because they both have urgency to catch something? Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 17:41
  • I'd say that all can be used. "Ran after" is a stretch, but it could be that "he" was going to catch up to the bus at the next stop... Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 17:44
  • Only one is correct Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 17:52
  • 1
    You will need to square it with your instructor. Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 18:13
  • Ask your instructor, because they all have a meaning in the sentence. Ran into doesn't logically make sense though. Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 18:30

In this sentence, the best choice is option 1:

He ran for the bus so that he could reach the office in time.

A key feature of the sentence is that there is a certain urgency: He needs to "reach the office in time". Let's consider the options:

  • Take is the standard verb for making use of a bus; it states only that your means of travel was the bus. "He took the bus" does not contribute to the desired sense of urgency.
  • Run into is normally interpreted as a phrasal verb meaning "collide with" or "encounter". Only in cases of a structure or an area would run into be readily taken to be a literal "run through the entrance" action. Saying "He ran into the bus" would therefore mean "he collided with the bus", which would not help him get to work in time. You could argue that it is intended to mean "He ran through the entrance of the bus", but that is not the default reading; the sentence would be confusing and misleading.
  • Run after, as you found, means "chase, with the intent to catch". In the case of a bus, the clear purpose of running after it would be to get on it and have it take you somewhere. However, one other key feature of run after is that it implies that the person or thing you are chasing is already underway: the person is walking away from you, or the bus has closed its doors and started driving toward the next stop. So, simply running after the bus may not get him to the office in time; he may not be able to catch it.
  • Run for can mean either "to try to get elected to an office" or "to run toward a place or object". This second meaning is clearly appropriate to the given sentence. Buses are known to depart on a regular schedule, and if you are near the scheduled departure time, you might need to run in order to actually get on a particular bus before it leaves, because if you don't make it onto that bus you will have to wait for another appropriate bus to arrive. Running for the bus will help achieve the goal of "reaching the office in time" by making sure that you get on the appropriate bus.

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