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Thread: catch one doing

  1. #1
    vil is offline VIP Member
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    Default catch one doing

    Could you explain me more comprehended the using of the phrase "catch one doing" = do not expect somebody to do it.
    For example: Poirot said:"You do not think it possible that she committed suicide?" - "She?" Mrs. Bishop snorted. "No, indeed. Hadn't she made up her mind to marry Mr.Roddy? "Catch her committing" suicide! (A.Christie)

    My question. Why do you need the last sentence for? Could you "render" it to me?

    or:

    And, mind you, it's me that makes it pay so well. "Catch him going down" to collect his own rents! Not likely. (B.Shaw)

    What is this? I talk with o.s. tongue in one's cheek. Or I'm wrong which is a normal procedure for me in these days.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: catch one doing

    Hi there!

    As far as I know it's an idiomatic expression meaning - as B. Shaw says in you example - Not likely! = It's not likely to happen. / Fat chance! / Only in your dreams!

    Of course, 'catch' is kind of a verb of perception in this case followed by an object and a participle (present participle here).

    Catch her committing suicide! = You won't see that happening. Why would she want to commit suicide when she had just decided to marry some Mr. Roddy.

    (You won't) Catch me doing it! = No way I'll be doing it!
    You won't catch me signing any contract! = This is not going to happen, I won't sign it, period.

    Hope this helps...

    Regards
    Photon

  3. #3
    vil is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: catch one doing

    Danke schon, Photon!
    Das war wirklich eine ueberzeugende Erklaerung.

    By the way I have found something close to your explanation: come unexpectedly upon smb. doing smth.(esp = smth. wrong); surprise or detect.
    I caught the boys stealing apples from my garden. You don't catch me
    (= there is no likelihood of my being discovered) doing that again.
    I remember your last examples.

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    Default Re: catch one doing

    Hi Vil!

    Thanks for your German, excellent!

    Regards
    Photon

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