Catch on to

Bassim

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I have tried to use "catch on to" in my sentence. I am wondering if it could be used in my sentence.

The wounded man mumbled something but nobody could catch on to what he was saying.
 
Last edited:
J

J&K Tutoring

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Yes, you could use it that way.

Watch your punctuation!
 

emsr2d2

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I find "catch on" very unnatural there. In BrE, it's just "catch".

What was that? I didn't quite catch what you said.
He mumbled something but nobody caught what he said.
He mumbled something but nobody could catch what he was saying.
 

GoesStation

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Catch on means "gradually understand" in American English. It doesn't work in the original sentence.
 

Barb_D

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I find "catch on" very unnatural there. In BrE, it's just "catch".

What was that? I didn't quite catch what you said.
He mumbled something but nobody caught what he said.
He mumbled something but nobody could catch what he was saying.

I agree for the US as well.
 

Tdol

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Catch on means "gradually understand" in American English. It doesn't work in the original sentence.

It's the same in BrE- it wouldn't be about understanding unclear speech, but getting a message that might be unclear, hidden or subtly expressed.
 

GoesStation

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We're particularly likely to use the phrase when tackling a difficult subject. I thought I'd never learn C#, but I'm finally starting to catch on.
 
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