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Transcript for #7
Hello everyone.
This is Luke from Luke’s English Podcast and this year, as you know, I am teaching you a Phrasal Verb every day and today’s phrasal verb is TO CATCH UP


The past of “CATCH” is, of course, CAUGHT, So, that’s CATCH – CAUGHT – CAUGHT and, we use CATCH UP in a number of ways and I am going to explain four of those things for you now.

The first one is TO CATCH UP WITH other people. Now, this refers to speed, like, going at the right speed, just physical speed.

For example: if there’s a race and, “BANG”, the race begins and all of the runners are running at the same speed, but then, some of them are slower and they start to fall behind. Now, those slower runners are going to have to run much faster in order to CATCH UP WITH the others, meaning to get to the same speed as them. Then, of course, need to keep that speed going and, they need to keep up with them. That is another one. But first, they need to speed up in order to CATCH UP WITH the other runners and then, get to the same speed as them.


So that means to, kind of, go faster in order to reach the same speed as someone else or something else. TO CATCH UP WITH the others. It can also be used to refer to, for example, making progress in something, not just physical speed, but just, generally, making progress. So,

For example: In a classroom situation, you might have, in your class, some students who are very good, they work hard and they focus and they make good progress and then, other students in the class don’t work very hard, they probably, kind of, bunk off their classes sometimes, they are not focusing and as a result they are not making the same progress as the others. They’re falling behind. So, you might need to speak to those students, and say

– “Look, you really need to work harder in order to try to CATCH UP WITH the others. You’ve got to put some working, do your homework, because you are falling behind. You need to CATCH UP WITH the other members of the class, otherwise we’ll have to move you down a level”. So, TO CATCH UP WITH the others in that case means to get at the same level of progress as the other students in the classroom.

So, that’s two.

Number three would be TO CATCH UP ON something. That is,

For example: when, let’s say, you are not up-to-date with a TV show. Let’s say, you haven’t watched series three of “Breaking Bad” or season three of “Game of Thrones”, like, everyone else has seen it, but you have not seen it. So, you need to go home and CATCH UP ON “Game of Thrones”. Or, maybe, there are one hundred and sixty episodes of Luke’s English Podcast, but you’ve only listened to one hundred and forty, so, you need to CATCH UP ON Luke’s English Podcast, meaning get up-to-date, to listen to all the latest, most recent episodes, and then you are up-to-date. So, you need to CATCH UP ON Luke’s English Podcast.

Similarly, you could CATCH UP ON some sleep,

for example, you have been working really hard on a project. You have been staying late. You have not been getting enough sleep. You have finished the project. You have handed it in and now, you are exhausted. So, you say: – “I am gonna (= going to) just go home and CATCH UP ON some sleep., meaning – I am gonna get the sleep that I have missed recently. I’m gonna CATCH UP ON some sleep.

And then, the fourth one would be,

For example: When you meet your friends and you have not seen your friends for a while, you have not seen them for a while and you do not know all their recent news and stuff. So you would then, CATCH UP WITH your friends. So,

– Let’s meet up!
– Yeah, I have not seen you for ages.
– Yeah, let’s meet up for a drink tomorrow and we can just CATCH UP!
– We can CATCH UP ON each other news and that would be great!

Okay? So there you go TO CATCH UP.

Now, I am going to tell you a joke, which could be really bad. Now, you might know this joke already because it is in a movie. You hear it in the movie “Pulp Fiction”, but I am going to tell you the joke. Now, it is a really bad joke, but I don’t care! I am going to tell you, because I like jokes.

Okay, so.

Three tomatoes are walking along the street: Daddy tomato, Mummy tomato and baby tomato. Baby tomato is walking too slow and he starts to fall behind. Daddy tomato gets angry and he walks back and he stamps on baby tomato and squashes him on the floor. He looks down and he says – Ketchup (= CATCH UP)!

Okay? I wonder if you understood that. If you did not get it, that’s fine, because this isn’t a good joke. But I wonder if you got it. That’s it. There will be another one tomorrow. Probably, without the really bad joke.

That’s it for now. Goodbye, bye bye.