Catch up: more meanings

The previous lesson explains the figurative meaning of to catch up, which is to talk with someone you know and you have not seen for some time to find out what they have been doing or to exchange or to learn the latest news or information.

Now we are going to review that and look at some different meanings. Listen carefully and take notes.

— phrasal verb /kætʃ/ past tense and past participle caught /kɔt/

  • to go faster so that you reach the person or vehicle in front of you

You go on ahead. I’ll catch you up in a minute. (catch somebody up)

We left before them, but they soon caught us up again. (catch somebody up)

If you hurry, you should catch up with them at the bridge.

She is really fast, and I couldn’t catch up with her.

fig. We’re a young, growing company, and we’re trying to catch up to the competition.

  • to do something that you have not been able, or did not have time to do earlier:

The deadline’s tomorrow. How are we ever going to catch up in time?

I just want to go home and catch up on some sleep.

I have to catch up on my reading.

She’s staying late at the office to catch up with/on some reports.

I have some work to catch up on.

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