There are many ways to use the phrasal verb to catch up. Get ready! There’s a lot of information!
Catch up with
- a person (updating each other about news in your life)
- a person (if you are walking or running with someone and they are moving faster than you, you catch up with them. This means that you come from behind and are now even with them, walking or running at the same pace.)You can also say catch up to-they mean the same thing. (See below)
- the class (if you have been absent, you have to catch up with the class. This means, you have to ask the teacher what the lessons were, maybe you ask your classmates for their notes so that you are “caught up” and know all of the information you missed while you were gone.
Catch up on
- I was absent last week so this weekend I have to catch up on my homework.
- I worked a lot last week, so this weekend I have to catch up on my housework.
- I was on vacation last week, so this week I have to catch up on my work. (this is talking about any work, in general or work for your job.)
- I worked a lot last week, so this weekend I have to catch up on laundry/ironing/dishes, etc.
- I didn’t sleep well this week so this weekend I’m going to catch up on my sleep. (This means you plan to sleep longer than usual)
Catch up in
- a class-I need to catch up in Spanish class. I’ve missed a lot of classes.
- I need to catch up in Math class, I haven’t done my homework for a week and now I’m lost.****explain this idiom? Expression
Catch up to
- the class– maybe you have moved to a new school with a different curriculum and you are behind in the class. The teachers help you to catch up to the rest of the class by giving you extra help or extra homework. Above I said that you can catch up with the class. These both have a similar meaning except to catch up with has a more temporary meaning (like missing a few days of class) and to catch up to indicates a longer absence or a situation like moving to a new school where the curriculum is different. For example, some children have trouble reading at their grade level so a special teacher helps them. The goal is to catch up to their peers. Meaning, that they will be on the same reading level as their peers.
- criminal behavior (if you are periodically stealing money from your boss, eventually it(it here, is the criminal behavior) will catch up to you.) **OR you can say, eventually he (your boss) will catch on to you. It means that he will start noticing that money is missing and he will start paying more attention to who has access to his money and he will eventually figure out who is stealing from him.
- a person (if you are walking or running with someone and they are moving faster than you, you catch up to them. This means that you come from behind and are now even with them, walking or running at the same pace.)
To get caught up in-so this is not necessarily the same as to catch up but it’s similar so I thought I’d add it to the list. Because we use “get” we have to change catch to caught. Caught is the past tense and participle of to catch.
To get caught up in (usually without being conscious/aware of it happening) means:
- to get caught up in crime
- this means that little by little you became a criminal. It started small and then before you knew it, you were robbing banks. For example, young children in the city sometimes start innocently (and sometimes not even knowing what they are delivering) delivering drugs for older teenagers because they think they are cool, then after a few years they start taking drugs, then they join a gang, then they start selling drugs. Ok, maybe it doesn’t happen so quickly but it happens!
- to get caught up in traffic
- this one is similar to being “held up” in traffic. It means, there’s a lot of traffic and you can’t move your car.
- to get caught up in a movie/book
- this one means that you are so engrossed in the movie that you lose awareness of your surroundings.
- to get caught up in a relationship
- we have all experienced this one! When you are first dating someone, it’s like the whole world disappears and it’s only you and your partner. You can’t talk to them enough. You want to be with them always. You get caught up in the relationship.
If you feel like this, don’t worry! I do too!
I’ve created some flashcards if you’d like to review this phrasal verb! It’s free! Click here to do the flashcards!
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