Learning Materials Lessons

Expressions with “catch”

November 8, 2013

One of the most fun aspects of learning English is mastering the language’s many idioms and phrases. Some of them are so strange! Others might be similar to ones in your own language.

Today we are looking at the word “catch” and its many idioms and phrases. Remember that “catch” is an irregular verb, and the past tense is “caught.” (This is a common mistake students make.)

How many of these expressions with “catch” do you know?

 

Expressions with “catch”

Catch-22: a situation where one thing must happen in order to cause another thing to happen, but because the first thing does not happen the second thing cannot happen. This expression comes from a novel of the same name written by Joseph Heller.
  • If you want a job as a waitress, you can’t get hired unless you have previous experience . . . but the only way to get experience is to get a job! It’s such a catch 22!

Catch a cold: to get sick

  • You are going to catch (a) cold if you don’t put socks on!
  • I think I caught a cold when I was with my nieces and nephews this weekend.

Catch hell: to get yelled at for doing something wrong

  • You will catch hell from your roommate if you don’t do your dishes.

Catch on: to understand

  • It is easy for me to catch on to my teacher’s English grammar lessons.

Catch (something): to see or listen to something

  • We are going to catch a show at House of Blues after class. Want to come?

Catch waves: to go surfing

Catch you later: another way of saying “See you later”

  • I gotta run now that class is over. Catch you later!
Surfing-Cayucos_Pier,_Cayucos,_CA

Catching some waves!

 

Practice with “catch” expressions

Put your new knowledge to use! Can you complete this paragraph with the correct expressions? Scroll down for the answers!

Last weekend, I went to Pacific Beach with my CISL buddies to catch some ____________. My roommate stayed at home to study because he was having some problems with the Present Perfect tense: even after working on it in class, he didn’t think he was catching ____________. So I told him that I’d catch him ____________, and I left.

I thought I was going to catch ____________ from my roommate because I had so much fun without him, but it turns out that he should have felt bad for me: after getting to Pacific Beach, I realized that I had forgotten to bring a change of clothes! I was so worried that I was going to catch a ____________; thankfully, my friend had an extra sweatshirt and towel. After an awesome afternoon at the beach, I returned home. My roommate had mastered the Present Perfect (he even asked me, “Where have you been?” when I got home!) and then we caught a ____________ together later that night. It was another great day in California.

 

Answers

Last weekend, I went to Pacific Beach with my CISL buddies to catch some waves. My roommate stayed at home to study because he was having some problems with the Present Perfect tense: even after working on it in class, he didn’t think he was catching on. So I told him that I’d catch him later, and I left.

I thought I was going to catch hell from my roommate because I had so much fun without him, but it turns out that he should have felt bad for me: after getting to Pacific Beach, I realized that I had forgotten to bring a change of clothes! I was so worried that I was going to catch a cold; thankfully, my friend had an extra sweatshirt and towel. After an awesome afternoon at the beach, I returned home. My roommate had mastered the Present Perfect (he even asked me, “Where have you been?” when I got home!) and then we caught a movie together later that night. It was another great day in California.

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