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run out: meaning and explanation

to run out of something= to use something up/finish something, meaning that there is none remaining

This phrasal verb can be used both with physical things (e.g. food) as well as more abstract things (e.g. time, patience, money, energy).

It is common to use the phrasal verb in the present perfect in order to focus on a present result, e.g. We have run out of milk = we need to go and buy some/I can’t make a cup of tea.

The phrasal verb can also be used in the continuous, to communicate the idea that something is close to being gone/used up, e.g. We’re running out of sugar – can you add it to the shopping list?

Have a go at these micro-dictation exercises to hear this expression being used in context – how much can you understand?

Listening exercises

Micro-listening #1

Accent: Scotland

, .
the exam went , but I time couldn't finish .

About the sentence

...On the whole, the exam went pretty well…

On the whole = in general/overall. e.g. On the whole, the weather in the UK is better than people think.

Micro-listening #2

Accent: North America

Micro-listening #3

Accent: Ireland

Sarah she's .
Sarah to come because she's money.

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