Hi dear English learners! Here we are again and here is another post to help you with your vocabulary and your English in general. We’re going to look at the most commonly used phrases such as collocations, phrasal verbs and idiomatic expressions with the verb catch. Here are 30 ways to use the verb catch.

Collocations with CATCH

The verb catch has a few meanings. For example, it means to take something and hold it, especially if it is moving through the air.

  • Tara threw the ball to me and I caught it.

Now look at these expressions:

  • I can’t catch the waiter’s attention (if you mean to attract someone’s attention).
  • Or, I have to hurry. I have a bus to catch. (when you want to get somewhere in time).
  • Sorry, I didn’t catch your name, would you mind saying it again? (to say that you didn’t hear something well)
  • Mary caught a cold. She’s having a temperature and a runny nose. (she has a cold)
  • His ears were open to catch any sound. (to hear)
  • It sounds like a good deal but what’s the catch? (when you think about drawbacks)
  • Martin tried to catch some sleep before work. (to get some sleep)
  • She caught a glimpse of his eye as he was passing by. (saw him)
  • Did you catch the football game last night? (did you see it?)
  • We spent only two days at the seaside but I managed to catch some sun. (get a suntan)
  • He took a plastic bowl to catch the water dripping in the bathroom. 
  • The police caught the bank robbers.
  • They caught Miranda smoking on the balcony.
  • Sarah was hoping to catch him before he leaves the office.
  • The tourists got caught in the storm.
30 Ways to Use the Verb CATCH
30 Ways to Use the Verb CATCH

Phrasal verbs with CATCH

Catch at

Meaning: to take hold of something, especially when it is passing by.

  • Milly caught at his shoulder while he was passing by. 
Catch on

Meaning: to become popular.

  • It took a while before the new series caught on.
Catch out

Meaning: to show that someone is lying or making a mistake.

  • The interviewer asked Peter a few questions to catch him out.
Catch up

Meaning: to talk to someone in order to exchange the latest news.

  • I saw Sandra in the town today. We went for a coffee to catch up.
Catch up with

Meaning: to start having a harmful effect.

  • Too much work caught up with her so she fell asleep on the bus.
30 Ways to Use the Verb CATCH
30 Ways to Use the Verb CATCH

Idioms with CATCH

Catch your breath

to stop doing an activity in order to start breathing normally.

  • After the finish line, he finally stopped to catch his breath.
  • While she was walking up the street, Mary had to stop a couple of times to catch her breath.
Catch 22

It is a paradoxical situation in which you can’t do either of two possibilities unless you’ve done the other one first.

  • It’s a catch 22 situation. They won’t hire you if you don’t have work experience and you can’t have work experience unless they hire you.
  • Nobody will financially support you until you’re successful and you can’t be successful without support. It’s a catch 22 situation.
It takes a thief to catch a thief

Only a dishonest person may know what another dishonest person is up to.

  • Berry will help us find those criminals because he’s one of them. You see, it takes a thief to catch a thief.
  • Being a bank robber himself, it was easy for him to assume what the gang’s next move could be. It takes a thief to catch a thief, he said to himself.
You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar

This proverb reminds us that it is more effective to be polite than impolite if we want to achieve something.

  • If you really want to get them let you stay in their cottage during the summer, you should be nice to them. Don’t you know that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar?
  • My mother’s always taught me that you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. And it works for me!
The early bird catches the worm

This saying advises us to try to do things sooner if we want to be successful.

  • The number of tickets for the concert is limited, so you better hurry if you want to get one. The early bird catches the worm!
  • I have so many things to do tomorrow. I’d better get up early. The early bird catches the worm!
Catch someone red-handed

This idiom means to discover someone while they are doing something illegal or wrong.

  • An employee in the supermarket caught him red-handed stealing money from the till.
  • Sarah caught her husband red-handed. He was holding hands with another woman.
Caught between a rock and a hard place

if you are caught between a rock and a hard place, then you have to choose between two equally bad options.

  • These refugees are caught between a rock and a hard place. They can’t stay here and they can’t go back to the country of their origin.
  • My two friends had a big argument. I don’t want to be a part of it. I’m caught between a rock and a hard place.
Be/get caught in the middle

If you are caught in the middle, then you are involved in a disagreement between two or more sides.

  • When his parents divorced, he was caught in the middle because they both complained about each other.
  • When Britain and France went to war in 1793, the U.S. got caught in the middle.
Catch you later

This is just a way of saying goodbye.

  • I’ve got to go now. Catch you later!
  • I’ll catch you later then, after work.
30 Ways to Use the Verb CATCH
30 Ways to Use the Verb CATCH

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