Catch Word #102 – Starting from scratch

Here’s another Catch Word episode! This one focuses on expressions with the word scratch. We look at to start from scratch, to scratch the surface, and to make something from scratch. Scratch in these expressions talks about starting at the beginning, often when you don’t have much knowledge or many skills. This episode does more than just scratch the surface, so listen and learn!


Expressions included in the learning materials


  • To start from scratch
  • To crash (a computer)
  • To take up something
  • To scratch the surface
  • To make something from scratch
  •  To hold on
  • Stomach grumbling
  • To flip a house
  • Man as slang
  • To be hardcore
  • A potluck

Sample transcript

Harp: When I think of making something from scratch, I’m thinking of a nice soup or something good that’s homemade.
Maura: Yeah, something delicious.
Harp: Mmhmm.
Maura: Food made from scratch is just so much better than pre-made stuff that you can buy in stores.
Harp: I know. Stuff you buy in stores that’s already made before, it’s faster, but food definitely tastes better when it’s homemade, when it’s made from scratch.
Maura: Oh, yeah. What’s the last thing that you made from scratch, Harp?
Harp: You know, I actually made chicken stock this weekend from scratch.

Podcast/ Learning Materials: Culips ESL Podcast