Catch Up

two friends catching up
Type: Phrasal Verbs
Originally published on March 29, 2023 and last updated on May 8, 2023

We all know that one of the best ways to improve your English skills is to engage in conversations with others. Using phrasal verbs in your conversations can be challenging but also very rewarding.

The questions below will provide you with a set of conversation starters that use the phrasal verb “catch up”. This phrasal verb is commonly used in informal conversations and can help learners sound more natural and fluent.

Review the meaning of the phrasal verb with your students first to make sure they understand how to use it correctly, and then go through the different conversation questions. Ask them to try and include the phrasal verb naturally in their answers.

Definition and Examples

“Catch up” has three common meanings that you should be aware of in order to discuss the questions below.

Firstly, “catch up” can mean to make progress or improve in order to reach a desired level. For example, if you’ve fallen behind in your studies, you might need to catch up on your work in order to pass your exams.

Secondly, “catch up” can also mean to update each other on recent events, especially after a period of time. This is often used in the context of catching up with friends or family members. For example, if you haven’t seen a friend for a few months, you might meet up with them to catch up on what’s been happening in their life.

Finally, “catch up” can also mean to do something that was missed or not completed earlier. For example, if you missed a few days of work, you might need to catch up on your tasks when you return.

Conversation Questions with "Catch Up"

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  • Have you ever had to catch up on work after taking time off?
  • What is the best way to catch up with someone you haven't seen in a long time?
  • How do you catch up on news and current events that you missed?
  • Do you think the internet is a good way to catch up on a TV show or movie series you missed?
  • What are some good ways to catch up on missed learning opportunities or missed education?
  • What are some good ways to catch up on hobbies or interests you had to put on hold?
  • Do individuals have a responsibility to catch up with current events and world news?
  • Is it important for individuals to catch up with the latest innovations and advancements in their fields?
  • Should schools be required to provide extra resources to help students catch up if they fall behind?
  • What's something you need to catch up on right now (work, studying, etc.)? How will you go about doing it?
  • Do you prefer to catch up with someone in person or over the phone/online? Why?
  • Is it fair for employers to expect employees to catch up on work they missed while on vacation or sick leave?
  • How do you manage to catch up on sleep if you have a busy schedule?
  • How often do you usually catch up with your family members who live far away?
  • Should countries with more resources be obligated to help poorer countries catch up in terms of economic and social development?
This conversation topic was prepared by Gregory

Gregory is a qualified TEFL teacher who has been teaching English as a Foreign Language (ESL) for over a decade. He has taught in-person classes in Spain and to English learners around the world online.