News & Events

“In the long run / short run”

Are any of you marathon runners – or even half marathon runners? Maybe you went to watch the Rome to Ostia half marathon this weekend, or know someone who took part. I sometimes play with the idea of starting training, but that’s as far as I get!

This week’s idiom was first used in the 1600s and people think it originates from the idea of a runner continuing to race right until the end. When we talk about something happening or not happening in the long run we mean over a long period of time.

Sometimes if someone is having a hard time we might say:

  • “Things seem difficult now, but the situation will get better in the long run!”

You may decide to buy something expensive that is better quality, or do something that will benefit you in some way:

  • Imagine you’re shopping and your friend says, “I really like these shoes, they’re so comfortable and I can wear them when I go out, but they’re more than I wanted to spend.”

You could say: “If you like them so much and they’re comfortable why don’t you get them? You’re probably saving money in the long run because they will last longer.”

  • Joining the sports club is a bit expensive and I don’t have much time, but I know it will do me good physically and mentally in the long run!”

As you may have guessed, you can also say in the short run to mean a short period of time, or in the near future.

  • Some of our students send their children to an English school which can be expensive in the short run, but it gives the children more opportunities in the long run!

Have a good week!

The English Tree team