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ESL Lesson: Phrasal verb run

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Phrasal verb run or "A Christmas postman"

This story contains a lot of combinations with the phrasal verb run. Do you know the meaning of all of them? Read the story and then take the four interactive tests below to check your knowledge.

English Grammar through Stories (PDF)Improving your grammar is much easier than you think
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A Christmas Postman

My main reason for becoming a temporary postman during the Christmas holiday period was because I had run up some rather large bills and what was more important I had run out of money. My trainer was a postman by the name of Ted with a life time of experience in doing all the walks in the town. It was all a question of order, he said and then he ran through the steps I had to take the moment I got into the sorting office. He didn't want any of his trainees to run away with the idea that being a postman was an easy job. He was fed up with people he ran acros s every so often who claimed that it was only a part-time job because it was all finished by mid-day. He ran over the sequence very carefully. The first thing was to be punctual since you started at a time when most people were still asleep. Immediately you arrived you had to start sorting the mail into the different pigeon holes. Sometimes you ran up against some terrible handwriting and didn't know where the letter should go. He was always running down teachers for not teaching children to write properly. These letters should be put to one side and old Charlie, the handwriting expert, would run through them later. The next step was to run off some cold water, fill the kettle and then make a cup of tea. Ted was always calm and optimistic. He never let himself get run down by the job. He left me alone for an hour to follow his method and asked me to call him if I ran into any difficulties. As he had been running about his house since two that morning because of a burst water pipe, he went to have a quiet rest.

At first I got on famously finding the right pigeonholes, checking Ted's list and putting the letters in bundles. After about two hours of this my internal battery started to run down and I found myself running out of patience. It was at this stage that Ted came running in encouraging me to finish and get out on the road. The post office in this country district didn't run to vans because of the expense. I had to make do with a bicycle that looked as though it had been run into several times. Once out in the open air I ran into a violent shower but soon the sun came out. The shouts of joy coming from some houses as I put the mail through the letter box made up for the discomfort and I was beginning to feel like a real Father Christmas. I then came to number 56 that Ted had warned me about. They had a ferocious dog. The only way to deal with this one, Ted recommended, was to run at the door shove the letters through the door and run away as quickly as possible. I did just that but in my haste I dropped a small packet that fell into a puddle. I didn't have the courage to make another assault on the house. Instead I took the packet home to dry it out. I knew if I told Ted, he would run on about being strictly against the rules but I was convinced it would not matter. In my kitchen I ran my eyes across the address and saw the recipient was a "Master Richard" I was ashamed of my cowardice and thought I was depriving a young child of his Christmas present from some loving relative. I rubbed the package with a towel and ran back to number 56. Running down the path in the true spirit of the season, clutching the precious bundle in my hand I thrust it through the letter box expecting to hear a happy yelp of surprise from young Richard. As I ran away to the sound of the barking dog, I ran by accident into the garden gate just in time to hear a voice shouting: "Master Richard! When will that woman realise I'm over fifty and can't stand hand knitted socks!"

Now, you should be able to take these four tests:

Christmas Postman - Test (1)
Christmas Postman - Test (2)
Christmas Postman - Test (3)
Christmas Postman - Test (4)

If you have any English grammar or vocabulary questions,
please post them on this English Grammar Forum.


Next:ESL Lesson: Phrasal verb fall

Author: Alan Townend




English Grammar through Stories (PDF)
English Grammar through Stories could be your saviour — it shows you a completely new way of learning. Forget about old-fashioned text books with difficult explanations and boring sample sentences. You can improve your grammar very fast if you know how. The answer is a few clicks away: Read these unique short stories by Alan Townend and absorb the patterns of English grammar automatically. You can only learn if you enjoy what you are doing. You will love the funny characters in English Grammar through Stories because they show the strengths and weaknesses of human nature. On top of all that, each story concentrates on one particular grammar item so all you have to do is read the book and have fun. You will be amazed at how easily you can improve your grammar.

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