Listen to English - Catch


We are going to catch things in this podcast, andyesthere will be a new phrasal verb as well – “to catch up with”.

Like many common English verbs, “catchis irregular. The past tense ofcatchiscaught”. So, I catch, I caught, I have caught.

If you look at the picture on the website, or on your iPod, you will see whatcatchmeans. Someone has thrown a ball in the air. The little dog has run after the ball. He has jumped in the air with its mouth open. He wants to catch the ball in his mouth. So, “to catchmeans to stop or hold something which is moving, like a ball which someone has thrown.

Here are some other things you can catch:

- a cat catches a mouse.

- a fisherman catches fish.

- the police catch a criminal.

- And, of course, we often usecatchin a figurative way. For example:

- you can catch a train, or a bus, or a plane.

- you can catch flu, or some other infectious disease.

- in the photo on the website, the photographer has caught the exact moment when the dog jumps in the air to catch the ball.

Now for our phrasal verb – “to catch up”. We can saycatch up with someoneorcatch someone up”. Imagine that you are running in a race. The leading runner is about 20 meters in front of you. If you run really fast, perhaps you can catch the leader up. Then you will be running beside the leader, and you might even win the race. And if the runners behind you run really hard, they may be able to catch up with you.

This sounds very energetic, so let us instead join Kevin and George in their normal Saturday afternoon activity, going to a football match. It is an exciting time. United are four places from the top of the Championship. Can they catch up with the top teams? Can they even win the Championship?

However, George is late. He is a teacher, and he has lots of school books to mark. He needs to catch up with his marking before he can go to the match. He phones Kevin to explain. “You go to the match now,” he says. “I'll catch up with you later when I have finished the marking”.

So Kevin sets off by himself. He catches a bus into town. But there are problems. The famous punk rock group Futile Vendetta are in town. Thousands of people want to catch their last concert, and thousands more want to catch a glimpse of the band. The bus gets caught in the traffic. The minutes go by, and the bus does not move. Eventually, Kevin gets off the bus and walks, and runs, to the football ground. He arrives just in time to catch the start of the match. George is there already. He finished his marking and caught a train to the stadium.

Unfortunately, the match is not very exciting and ends in a goalless draw. There is one thrilling moment when United's striker nearly scores, but the goalkeeper catches the ball safely. Never mind. Football is like that. Maybe next Saturday will be different.