Contributed by Daniel Evans






"Catch" is a relatively simple word in the english language.  But students can often make mistakes when using it.


The word actually has two uses, as a noun, and as a verb.


The noun, "a catch" is a casual English word which means "a hidden drawback/disadvantage".

For example,

"I was really happy when I got a promotion in my job,  but then I realized there is a catch, I have to be at my office an hour earlier each day!"


However, "catch" is more commonly used as a verb.  The verb "to catch" has many meanings, but the most basic meanings are:

  • to capture; to take and hold something/one when it doesn't want to be held, or after a chase.
  • the stop the motion of a moving object, and hold it.
  • to take, i.e. To take a train.
  • to become sick with a cold/virus.


Here are some example sentences:

  • After a long car chase, the police eventually manged to catch the criminal.
  • That player is very good at catching the baseball.
  • I'm going to Kyoto tomorrow.  I plan on catching the Bullet Train at 9.30am.
  • My best friend has Influenza.  I hope I don't catch it!


However, some people can make mistakes when using "catch". 

Remember, we cannot use this word to mean "get".  For example, we cannot say...

  • I want to catch a new boyfriend.


  • I was able to catch a lovely new apartment.

These sentences are not correct, so be careful when using "catch"!