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"catch a bus" and "take a bus"

Posted by RRC on December 06, 2005

In Reply to: "Catch a bus" and "take a bus" posted by R. Berg on December 06, 2005

: : : : : : Is there any difference between "catch a bus" and "take a bus" ? Anything to do with the bus going out of town or travelling within the town itself?
: : : : : : Thanks!

: : : : : Growing up in an urban area, I always took a bus.
: : : : : I would think the two terms could be used interchangeably.

: : : : : Someone could and possibly will discuss the minute nuances of the differences between the two phrases.

: : : : Bruce, here goes!
: : : : I tend to use the 'catch' variant if I'm about to use a bus - 'I'm off to catch the bus'. The 'take' variant is a little more distant in the future. 'If I decide to go, I think I'll take the bus'(or 'go by bus').

: : : The distinctions are minute, all right. Nobody will misunderstand if you use one over the other. "Catching" a bus relates to the act of being there and boarding it, usually at a specific time. "Taking a bus" is the mode of transport. Tiny difference.
: :
: : Bob is, as usual, right, except that I don't think the difference is as tiny as he does. There are times when one is more idiomatic. "If you want to go over to Sixth Ave., you'd better take the crosstown bus. You can catch it at Broadway...." Or: "I've got to catch a bus now, though I hate to take a bus this late." "You can catch one later, they run all night." I used to have a dog who kept trying to catch a bus (or truck or car). I'm glad he didn't. Where would we keep it?

: I see the difference as more than tiny. Nobody says "I'd better hurry. I have a plane to take." ~rb

Since there's no context given, I'll add that someone who owns a car and a bus can say "Today, I'll take the bus." meaning to drive the bus instead of the car. I can't think of a reason for the driver to say "I'll catch the bus." unless it's moving away driver-less!!!