As the world has gone Crazy for catching Pokemon, here are 4 great business phrases with the word ‘catch’!

You may be surprised to hear that the word ‘catch’ has some of my favourite business phrasal verbs and expressions.  Here is the ultimate guide to ‘catch’!

catch up with

To catch up with somebody literally means to reach somebody in front of you by going faster than them.

In a literal meaning, if you are in a running race and someone is in front of you, then you need to go faster than them so that you can win the race:

‘The runner in second place is currently 20 seconds behind the leader, so he will have to work very hard to catch up with him.’

So in a business sense, if you are behind another company and you want to be ahead of them, then you need to catch up with them:

‘We need to improve our advertising strategy if we want to catch up with the other major brands.’

This can also be used with time, for example if you are behind schedule..:

‘We need to catch up with the schedule if we want to launch the product on time.’

‘I need to stay in the office late tonight to catch up with some work.’

Also, this can be used if you are behind in terms of money or size:

‘Our rivals have grown a lot in the past year, we need to catch up with them to compete.’

You don’t always need to use ‘with’ with this phrasal verb:

‘We are so far behind schedule, we’ve got a lot of work to do to catch up.’

catch out

To catch somebody out has a few different meanings, all of which are really important in a business context!

The first meaning of to catch somebody out is to trick somebody into making a mistake:

‘Be careful in the interview, the interviewer might try to catch you out.’

The second meaning is just as important, it means to put someone in an inconvenient or difficult situation.  This is mainly used in the passive, it is only really necessary to use: be caught out with this meaning:

‘The event was going well, but then we were caught out by the quick change in the weather.’

‘The company were caught out by the rapid developments in mobile technology.’

‘Many people were caught out by the misleading advertisement.’

catch on

The word to catch on simply means to become popular:

‘The Pokemon Go game has caught on quicker than any other mobile app in history.’ 

‘If people see a famous person wearing a certain brand of clothing, then it usually catches on very quickly.’

catch somebody’s eye

If something catches your eye, it means that you notice it and you give it your attention.  This is especially useful both for employees and businesses, because if you want to be successful then you need to get noticed!

‘I was having a look through resumés of all the applicants yesterday, and one in particular caught my eye.’

‘We need a logo which is going to catch your eye when you see it.’

A similar phrase with the same meaning is to catch somebody’s attention:

‘There was an article in the newspaper today which caught my attention.’

If you would like to have any any further example sentences with these words, feel free to visit my website or comment below! Also if you have any other questions about English I’m happy to answer your emails or I will write a post about it, keep the emails coming!


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David Cox

Founder of englishtenses.eu

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