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Do these terms share the same degree of informality in the sense "to attend and visit (or see)" as of someone taking in/catching the sights of a place, or taking in/catching a show or a movie?


When was the last time you caught [or take in] a movie at the drive in?

How's that, you spent three weeks in Paris and you didn't even catch [or take in] the night sights of that glittering city? You surely must have been off your head!

Also, can "to take in" in the sense [to attend and visit (or see)] encompass other things than sights [=anything worth seeing (the sights of London)] and shows (movies, plays, etc.)?

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For someone to "take in" something he or she is looking, accepting, or understanding sensual or intellectual information. Someone may take in a view or a piece of poetry. source

For someone to "catch" something he or she is capturing a thing: a moment, scene, place, person, etc. The word "capturing" is ambigious. You could simply walk into a person and "capture" their time as you chat them up a bit. souce

In formal communication, you want to be as concise and clear as possible; therefore, if you are unsure about the meaning of the word, your reader may not know what you intend.

If you mean you wish to visit a city, you should say so when in formal communication. You should also say "to attend" an event when formal. The words "to catch" and "to take in" are often understood as informal/slang communication.

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