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American English: /kætʃ/
, /kɛtʃ/
British English: /katʃ/

Translation of catch in Spanish:

transitive verb past tense & past participle caught

  • 1 1.1 (ball/object)
    coger (esp Spain)
    he caught her by the arm/wrist
    la agarró del brazo/de la muñeca
    la cogió del brazo/de la muñeca (esp Spain)
    Example sentences
    • He tossed both knives into the air and caught them before dropping into a crouch like his brother.
    • Every time there's even a semblance of running water, we put something under the faucet to catch the precious drops.
    • There were always pots across one wall of her sitting room to catch the drops.
    Example sentences
    • He says the people of Poland must work hard because they have a struggle ahead to catch the other countries of the West.
    • You don't want them looking at the table and thinking: Chelsea are too far ahead for us to catch them.
    • However, once he got to third, Harvey and Templeman were just too far ahead for Westbrook to catch them.
    1.2 (capture, trap)
    coger (esp Spain)
    coger (esp Spain)
    catch me if you can!
    ¡a que no me agarras!
    ¡a que no me coges! (esp Spain)
    he got caught
    lo pillaron or agarraron
    lo cogieron (esp Spain)
    she got caught [euphemistic]
    (se) quedó embarazada
    Example sentences
    • The Welsh terrier is a rough-coated animal with droopy ears, originally bred in Wales to catch rats, mice and other vermin.
    • It always seemed to me that it was pretty rare for the hunt actually to catch a fox.
    • Traps of this kind, which are designed to catch foxes and rabbits, have been outlawed since 1954 when the Pest Act came into force.
  • 2 2.1 (take by surprise)
    coger (esp Spain)
    pillar [colloquial]
    pescar [colloquial]
    to catch somebody in the act
    agarrar ( or coger etc. ) a alguien infraganti or con las manos en la masa
    she caught him reading her mail
    lo pilló leyendo sus cartas [colloquial]
    (you won't) catch me going there again! [colloquial]
    ¡a mí no me vuelven a ver el pelo por ahí! [colloquial]
    you won't catch me falling for that one!
    pierde cuidado, que esa yo no me la trago [colloquial]
    you won't catch her in on a Saturday night
    un sábado por la noche no la pillas or pescas en casa [colloquial]
    we got caught in the rain
    nos pilló la lluvia [colloquial]
    nos pescó la lluvia [colloquial]
    Example sentences
    • To their surprise they caught him with a soldier on Hampstead Heath.
    • Do not be taken by surprise if you are caught for speeding or riding without helmets this week.
    • Funnily enough, I was almost caught in a compromising situation earlier by one of the engineers.
    2.2 (intercept)
    run and catch him
    corre a ver si lo alcanzas
    catch you later (US) [colloquial]
    nos vemos
    to catch somebody with his pants or (British) trousers down [colloquial]
    agarrar a alguien desprevenido
    agarrar a alguien en off-side [colloquial]
    coger a alguien desprevenido (esp Spain)
    coger a alguien en off-side (esp Spain) [colloquial]
  • 3 3.1 (train/plane)
    (take) tomar
    coger (esp Spain)
    (be in time for) alcanzar
    I only just caught it
    lo alcancé con el tiempo justo
    por poco lo pierdo
    Example sentences
    • It is not as if you can catch a bus or train, or hail a cab to go anywhere.
    • I alighted from the train at Huddersfield and caught a bus to New Mill.
    • Then I had to catch a bus, then a train, and walk quite a way to the house.
    3.2 (manage to see, hear) there's a movie I'd like to catch [colloquial]
    hay una película que no me quiero perder
    we'll just catch the end of the game
    todavía podemos pescar el final del partido [colloquial]
    we could catch a movie before dinner (US)
    podríamos ir al cine antes de cenar
  • 4 (entangle, trap) I caught my skirt on a nail
    se me enganchó la falda en un clavo
    se me atoró la falda en un clavo (Mexico)
    se me pescó la falda en un clavo (Chile)
    I caught my finger in the drawer
    me pillé el dedo en el cajón
    I got caught in a traffic jam
    me agarró un atasco
    me cogió un atasco (esp Spain)
    these people are caught in a cycle of poverty
    esta gente está atrapada en un círculo de pobreza
  • 5 5.1 (attract, arrest) try to catch his attention
    trata de atraer su atención
    the dress caught her fancy
    se encaprichó con el vestido
    the concept caught the imagination of the young
    el concepto estimuló la imaginación de los jóvenes
    5.2 (apprehend) did you catch what she said?
    ¿oíste or entendiste lo que dijo?
    I didn't catch the name
    no entendí or capté el nombre
    I don't quite catch your meaning
    no acabo de entender or de captar lo que quieres decir
    he caught the look in her eye
    le leyó la mirada
    I caught the aroma of fresh coffee
    me llegó el aroma de café recién hecho
    Example sentences
    • He explores the space, catches its relationship and represents it in various forms.
    • It really catches the feel of Dave's work.
    • His mastery was in describing exciting events and in catching the flavor of the moment.
  • 6 (become infected with) (disease)
    contagiarse de
    contraer [formal]
    he caught the disease
    contrajo la enfermedad [formal]
    to catch a cold
    agarrar un resfriado
    coger un resfriado (esp Spain)
    pescar or pillar un resfriado [colloquial]
    I caught (the) measles from him
    me contagió el sarampión
    me pegó el sarampión [colloquial]
    he's caught that habit from his girlfriend
    esa costumbre se le ha pegado de su novia
    esa costumbre la ha cogido de su novia (esp Spain)
    I caught his enthusiasm
    me contagió su entusiasmo
    se me pegó su entusiasmo [colloquial]
    Example sentences
    • It damages unborn babies, and may cause miscarriage if the mother catches the disease while pregnant.
    • A child with TB may have to stay in the hospital so others do not catch the infection.
    • At this time it is not clear if the female nurse caught the disease from the patient, or through other sources.
  • 7 (hit) he caught his head on the beam
    se dio en la cabeza con la viga
    she caught him a blow on the chin
    le dio or pegó un golpe en la barbilla
    to catch it or (US also)catch hell [colloquial]you'll really catch it from Dad if he sees you!
    ¡si papá te ve, te mata!
    he really caught it or caught hell!
    le cayó una de padre y señor mío
  • 8 8.1 (hold back) he caught his breath in surprise
    se le cortó la respiración de sorpresa
    8.2 (restrain) to catch oneself

intransitive verb past tense & past participle caught

  • 1 1.1 (grasp)
    coger (esp Spain)
    here, catch!
    ¡toma, coge! (esp Spain)
    ¡toma, cacha! (Mexico)
    Example sentences
    • Abby caught at his arm, and he started to push her away, then stopped himself.
    • As he made to move off in search of new bandages, she weakly caught at his arm.
    • Automatically, his own hands rose to catch at his master's arm.
    1.2 (bite, take hold)
    his voice caught and he was unable to carry on
    se le hizo un nudo en la garganta y no pudo continuar
    1.3 (become hooked)
    atorarse (Mexico)
    pescarse (Chile)
    Example sentences
    • The hem of her pants caught under her shoes and she toppled toward, taking the boy with her.
    • Then the toe of your shoe catches in a crack in the sidewalk and you stumble forward, but quickly regain your balance, trying to keep you dignity intact.
    • ‘I'm sorry,’ she said, coming so hastily to her feet her heel caught in her skirt and she lurched forward.

Phrasal verbs

catch on

verb + adverb [colloquial]
1 (become popular)
ponerse de moda
2 (understand)
darse cuenta
caer [colloquial]
to catch on to something
darse cuenta de algo
entender algo
we finally caught on to what was happening
finalmente nos dimos cuenta de lo que pasaba

catch out

verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object
1 (trick)
pillar [colloquial]
agarrar (Southern Cone) [colloquial]
2 (in wrongdoing)
pescar [colloquial]
pillar [colloquial]
coger (esp Spain)
3 (surprise)

catch up

1verb + adverb (draw level) I missed three weeks' classes, and it was a struggle to catch up
perdí tres semanas de clase y me costó ponerme al día
we used to be market leaders, but now other countries are catching up
antes éramos los líderes del mercado pero ahora otros países nos están alcanzando
to catch up with/on somebody/somethingshe had to catch up with or on the rest of the class/the work she'd missed
tuvo que ponerse al nivel del resto de la clase/al día con el trabajo
I've got a lot of work to catch up on
tengo que poner al día mucho trabajo atrasado
you go on ahead, I'll catch up with you later
ustedes vayan delante, que yo ya los alcanzo
all those late nights eventually caught up on or with me
todas esas trasnochadas finalmente pudieron más que yo
I called Sue to catch up with or on the latest gossip
llamé a Sue para ponerme al día con los últimos chismes or al tanto de los últimos chismes
I need to catch up on my sleep
tengo que recuperar el sueño perdido
2 2.1verb + object + adverb (draw level with) (British)
2.2verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object (pick up)
3 (trap, involve) to be/get caught up in something
estar/quedar enganchado/atrapado en algo
(in excitement/enthusiasm)
contagiarse de algo
I was completely caught up in my thoughts
estaba totalmente absorto or ensimismado en mis pensamientos
I got caught up in the traffic
me agarró el tráfico
me cogió el tráfico (esp Spain)
she got caught up in the scandal
se vio envuelta en el escándalo


  • 1 1.1 (Sport)
    Example sentences
    • New Zealand's fielding was also awful with several misfields and dropped catches.
    • It was also an innings of great catches and easy misses.
    • Countless runs were gifted away through shoddy fielding and innumerable dropped catches.
    1.2 (something, somebody caught) he's/she's a good catch [colloquial]
    es un buen partido
    it is a prize catch for the party
    es una inestimable adquisición para el partido
    Example sentences
    • It is, in part, this ease that makes you a catch for potential partners.
    • The Shopkeeper was aware that Carl would be considered a good catch for any girl in town.
    • If you focus on lifestyle issues, in other words, what you wear, where you live, how much of a catch your partner is, etc, you will turn the control of how you are judged over to other people.
    1.3 (of fish)
    Example sentences
    • The beaches of East Anglia maybe can't produce the numbers of cod they once did, but there are still good catches taken and big fish caught.
    • At home catches of white fish have been poor over the last couple of weeks.
    • Some stretches are very well stocked and if you're on fish, multiple catches are common.
  • 3 (hidden drawback) what's the catch?
    ¿cúal es la trampa or el truco?
    I knew there'd be a catch in or to it somewhere
    ya sabía yo que tenía que haber gato encerrado
    there's no catch
    no hay ninguna trampa or ningún truco
    no hay trampa ni cartón (Spain)
    it's a Catch-22 situation
    es una situación sin salida
    Example sentences
    • The hidden catch here is that in this case, this rule was violated.
    • At The Bull Hotel on Tuesday, the programme makers reassured residents there were no hidden catches.
    • The girl looked up at her, too satisfied to care if there were any kind of hidden catches.
  • 4 (in voice) with a catch in her voice
    con la voz entrecortada or temblorosa
    Example sentences
    • ‘You can wake me up now,’ she said with a slight catch in her voice.
    • Sherringham sounded only slightly winded, though there was a catch to his voice.
    • Sinjun didn't fail to notice the slight catch in her voice.
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