Learn how and when to use the words give break keep catch and see

These common verbs have many different meanings (some of them we will discuss them in upcoming posts). This article looks at some important meanings of these verbs, and in some cases, they combine with specific nouns, e.g. give someone a ring, break the law, etc. You can learn these as expressions.


I’ll give you a ring this evening. (= phone you this evening)

Could you give me a hand? (= help me)

Please give my regards to Paul. (= please say ‘hello’ to him from me)
If you see Paul, please give him my regards.


The coat will keep you dry; the gloves will keep your hands warm. (= the coat/gloves will help you to stay dry/warm) [keep + noun/pronoun + adjective)

I keep losing my glasses; I keep getting backache. (= I lose my glasses / get backache again and again) [keep + -ing]

Please keep in touch. (= don’t forget to stay in contact, e.g. phone or write to me sometimes)

The school keeps a record (= clear written information) of the number of times that students are absent.


He broke the world record again. (= created a new record, e.g. He ran the 100 meters in 
   9.85 seconds, which is 0.1 seconds faster than anyone else.)

Most people break the law at some point in their life. (= do something wrong / against the law)

In my first lesson with a new class, I usually do something to break the ice. (= to make people feel more relaxed when they first meet strangers)


We can catch a bus down the road. (= take a bus/travel by bus)

How did you catch that cold? (= get that cold/virus)

Catch the ball and throw it to James.


A: This part of the picture doesn’t look right compared with the other part.
B: Yes, I see what you mean. (=1 understand what you are saying)
A: Do you think we need to hire a car?
B: I don’t know. I’ll see (= I’ll ask and find out) what the others say.

I don’t/can’t see the point of practicing six hours a day. (= I don’t understand the reason for practicing six hours a day; I think it’s crazy)