The next word in our vocabulary boost series is CATCH. CATCH is a high frequency verb that can be used as a synonym of take, get, receive, recover, attract or capture. There are numerous collocations and phrasal verbs that are formed using CATCH.

As recommended in our START method (HERE), you should always learn vocabulary as a short phrase and relate new words to synonyms and use them. Click (HERE) and (HERE) for advice on how to learn more vocabulary and HERE for an example of a great strategy to learn new words.




To learn new collocations and word patterns you should create phrases using them and also do exercises (HERE)

Catch a cold – get a chill/cold

Catch a disease – get ill

Catch your breath – recover your breath

Catch a ball – receive a ball in the air

Catch a bus/train/taxi – get/take the bus/train/taxi

Catch a thief – arrest a thief

Catch fire – catch alight

Catch a glimpse – be able to see something

Catch a whiff – capture the smell of something

Catch someone´s attention – capture the attention of someone

Catch someone in the act – find someone while they are doing something

Catch someone off guard – find someone who is not prepared for something

Catch someone by surprise – to surprise someone or do something they are not expecting to them


Phrasal verbs:

The learning of phrasal verbs is best done using this method (HERE)

Catch on – understand something

She didn´t catch on to the joke because she is a little dim

Catch on – become popular

The use of apps to learn languages has really caught on recently

Catch out – find or put someone in a strange position

I was caught out during the qui because my musical knowledge is so poor

Catch out – trick or fool someone

I was caught out by the prank/practical joke

Catch up – reach the same level as

I was running as fast as I could so as to catch up with the rest of the group

Catch up on – do something that you ought to have done earlier

I had to catch up on my studies after being off university for a short time

Catch up with – talk to someone who you haven´t spoken to for a long time

I love catching up with old friends and hearing about their experiences




To learn how to use CATCH you need to practice and put these words and collocations into your own words to be able to remember them.

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  • Deborah Judah

    I consider this website one of the best in preparation for these Cambridge Certificate exams. It is very well organised and rich with useful information, exercises, tips and the list goes on…!
    Congratulations on the hard work that must be necessary in order to provide such a amazing amount of resources.
    Deborah (Cambridge examiner)

    • Marc

      Thank you so much for your kind words. I dedicate a lot of time to the site and it is very encouraging to hear your kind words. Feel free to share the site and resources. Marc Huckle

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