Session 4

Vocabulary: 10 uses of 'catch'

Enjoy our version of The North Wind and the Sun – and learn 10 different ways to use the word 'catch'.

Sessions in this unit

Session 4 score

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    Activity 1
  • 0 / 6
    Activity 2

Activity 2

The cold Wind blows and the hot Sun shines

Who is stronger – the cold North Wind or the hot Sun?

How do you think the story ends?

A) The North Wind wins and makes the man take off his coat
B) The Sun is not powerful enough to win the competition
C) The Sun makes the man so hot that he takes off his coat
D) Something else

To do

Watch the video and find out which option is correct. And listen out for four more uses of catch.

Watch the video and complete the activity

Show transcript Hide transcript

Hello again, I'm Mariam. Let's catch up with our story about a contest between the cold North Wind and the hot Sun, they are both trying to prove who has the greatest power.

The day is still cold and the Wind has given up trying to get the man to remove his coat. The Sun is now hoping to succeed - it appears from behind a cloud, and tries to catch up with the man. It takes a deep breath and appears larger and rounder.

Sure enough, the air below starts to warm up and as it does, the man unbuttons his coat. The Wind watches in awe as the frost begins to thaw.  The man below looks amazed - it has been such a long, cold winter that it is a joy to catch the warmth and brightness of the Sun.

The Sun shines brighter and the man undoes another button until he feels so hot, he takes off his coat. In fact it gets so hot, he has to go and sit under the shade of a tree.

'Incredible' says the Wind, slightly annoyed, 'how did you do it?' The Sun replies, "My glowing rays opened his heart and with my gentle powers, I got my way."

Down below on the Earth, the young man looks up at the Sun as if he had heard him. ''That Wind was strong. But the Sun is stronger still" – and then he fell asleep.  The Wind has to admit he was caught out by the wisdom and the power of the clever Sun.

So all that huffing and puffing got the Wind nowhere – maybe we should take things a little slower, like the Sun! Anyway, that's the end of this tale, which been around for almost as long as the Sun itself! Please join me for another story soon. Bye for now.

To do

So, the correct answer was C) The Sun makes the man so hot that he takes off his coat. The Sun proved it was more powerful than the cold North Wind!

Now don't get caught out – here's a fun quiz to practise the different uses of catch.

What's the use of 'catch'?

6 Questions

Choose the best expression with catch to fill each gap.

Congratulations you completed the Quiz
Excellent! Great job! Bad luck! You scored:
x / y

Over to you

How was that? Now it's time for you to tell us a story! It can be a true story or an imagined one - but it must be your own original work. Try to use as many of the phrases with catch as possible:

  • catching
  • catch my breath
  • caught off guard
  • catches sight of
  • catch hold of
  • catch his death
  • catch up
  • catch
  • caught out

Email your story to us at Make sure you write 'catch story' in the subject line and in your email too. Unfortunately, we can't give individual feedback, but we do read every email, and we’ll publish our favourites here or on our social media sites.

Your Stories


At the beginning of the week, I caught my death, so I stayed at home to recovery myself. Despite of the disease, I enjoyed being at home doing nothing. It was a good opportunity to catch my breath. As I wasn't able to do many things, I decided to catch up [BBC Learning English says: add the preposition 'with' here] the last episodes of my favorite TV series. I had a great time ! Today, I feel much better and I came back to work. During my absence, my work has accumulate and I'll have to work hard in order to catch up with the group. Now I have to admit I was caught out by only watching TV during my days off.

End of Session 4

That's all for now. Catch up with Tim's Pronunciation Workshop in Session 5!

Session Vocabulary

  • catching (B2)
    touching; reflecting on

    catch my breath (C1)
    take a short rest

    caught off guard (C2)

    catches sight of (C1)
    suddenly sees

    catch hold of (B2)
    grab; seize

    catch his death  (C2)
    develop a severe cold or chill

    catch up (B2)
    get up-to-date

    catch up (B2) 
    go faster to reach someone in front of you

    catch (B1)

    caught out  (C1)
    shown to have made a mistake


    A1 = Beginner
    A2 = Elementary
    B1 = Lower Intermediate
    B2 = Higher Intermediate
    C1 = Towards Advanced
    C2 = Advanced