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catch / caught / caught / catching

To catch something is to receive it. The hands are usually used for catching things; however,  there are many different kinds of things that you can catch. The verb “catch” is also used as part of several phrasal verbs. 


The video below shows you the many different ways to use the word “catch.” 

a. catch = get / capture

  • I think I caught a cold. 
  • You can catch the next train on this platform. 
  • A person who goes fishing tries to catch fish. 
  • If you listen carefully, you will catch what another person says. 
  • I didn’t catch what she said. What did she say? 
  • The police caught the thief. 

b. catch a cold or a type of illness

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  •  I think I caught a cold. 
  • Sandra says she caught the flu from her daughter. 
  • Hospital workers wear masks to avoid catching viruses such as Covid-19. 

c. catch up = keep pace; maintainc

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  • The other runners can’t catch up with her because she’s so fast. 
  • Students who miss a lot of school days have to do extra work in order to catch up with the other students. 

d.  catch on = 1. understand; 2. become popular2. 

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  •  At first, playing the guitar was difficult for Ronald, but now he’s beginning to catch on. (catch on = understand) 
  • It took awhile for everyone to catch on to what the man was trying to do to them, but eventually they realized that his intentions were bad. 
  • The idea of using mass transit for commuting to work is beginning to catch on in the United States. 

e.  Using “catch” as a noun.  

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  •  She made a good catch. 
  • How did she make that catch? 
  • Nice catch! 
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  •  He’s hoping for a big catch. 
  • Using a net helps a fisherman increase his catch. 
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