Running nose vs. runny nose

B1- B1 B2 C1

WRONG: I need a tissue! I’ve got a running nose.
RIGHT: I need a tissue! I’ve got a runny nose.

We’ll be honest. This is one of the funnier mistakes us English teachers hear. It’s only a few letters wrong, but it sounds quite amusing.

‘A running nose’ – a nose that’s running along the street, a nose that’s been entered into the Prague Half Marathon! A funny image, right?

‘Running nose’ is not the phrase to describe the need for constant tissues. We say ‘runny nose’. Not runny in a ‘put on your trainers’ kind of way, runny as in liquidy. For example, if you lightly boil an egg, it is still liquidy. We call that a ‘runny egg.’

Now imagine your nose is like that egg. Yes, all ‘runny’. Fuj!