catch

simple
past
past participle
catch
caught
caught

The word "catch" is a popular verb that we use when receiving something in our hands:

catch

  • He’s about to catch the ball.
  • He’s going to catch the ball with his hands.

There are other ways to use this verb:

  • You might catch a cold if you don’t keep warm. (catch a cold = sickness with sneezing, coughing, and fatigue)
  • Melissa thinks she caught a cold.
  • Did you catch what that guy just said? (catch = hear)
  • You’re going to have to work harder to catch up to the other students. (catch up = reach the same level of progress)
  • He got his finger caught in a door. (be or get caught = stuck; injured)
  • The new product hasn’t really caught on with the general public. (catch on = become popular)
  • All of this dry grass could catch on fire very easily. (catch on fire= ignite)
  • What did he use to catch all of those fish? (catch fish = take fish from the water using a net or a fishing pole and bait.)

These sentences use "catch" as a noun:

  • Wow! Look at the size of that fish! Nice catch! (catch = a fish)
  • Linda was happy that one of her accountants found an error in the report. That saved the company a lot of money. "Nice catch," she said. (catch = a person prevents a problem)
  • Tom thinks he would be a good catch for any woman, but most people would disagree with that opinion. (A good catch or a nice catch is a person who would be a good mate in a relationship.)
  • You can get the product at 50% off the regular price, but there’s a catch. You have to arrive before 6 a.m. and stand in line. (a catch = a condition)

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This page was first published on April 25, 2012. It was amended on January 23, 2015.