8 collocations and expressions with CATCH

Collocations and expressions with the word catch

The boy is going to catch the ball.

The word catch is used for the action in the picture above – to receive a ball (or another object) that someone throws to you. However, there are a number of other meanings and expressions with the word catch – here are 8 of them!

catch a cold

To get sick with a cold (a minor respiratory infection).

“Why weren’t you at the soccer game on Saturday?”
“Oh, I caught a nasty cold, so I decided to stay home and rest.”

catch your breath

To try to breathe normally after hard exercise.

“I stopped running to catch my breath.”

catch fire

When something comes into contact with fire and starts to burn.

“Keep those papers away from the candle, or else they’ll catch fire.”

catch someone red-handed / catch someone in the act

To discover someone doing something wrong or illegal at the moment they are doing it.

“I caught my daughter red-handed trying to take money out of my purse.”

“George was flirting with another woman at the bar, and his wife caught him in the act.”

catch someone’s eye

To make eye contact, or to attract attention.

“I caught her eye and smiled.”

“This painting caught my eye because of its bright, lively colors.”

good catch

If someone finds a mistake, you can say “Good catch!” to mean, “It’s good that you found the error!”

If you describe a person as a “good catch,” it means he/she is a good person to date or marry:

“Bob’s hard-working, sensitive, funny – he’s a good catch!”

Catch you later!

This is a very informal way to say “See you later!”

“Hey, it was nice talking to you, but I’ve gotta go pick up the kids from school.”
“OK, catch you later!”

I didn’t catch…

This is a way to say “I didn’t hear/understand what you said.”

“My home phone is 314-555-0307 and my office phone is 314-866-1294, extension 1352.”
“Sorry, I didn’t catch your home phone number – could you repeat it?”

What’s the catch?

This is a phrase that is used to mean, “What’s the disadvantage?” or “It sounds good, but are there any hidden problems?”

“I’ll sell you my car for just $500!”
“Oh really? What’s the catch?”

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