Teachers' blog


【”Call” or “Call to?”】

(Contributed by Ben)
There’s a mistake I often hear in language about phone conversations. A lot of students say ‘I’m calling to you’ or ‘she’s calling to the office’. But there’s a big difference between calling someone and calling TO them.
‘Calling you’ means calling you on the phone. ‘Calling TO you’ means SHOUTING YOUR NAME VERY LOUD so you will hear. If you see your friend on the other side of the road, you might call TO them to attract their attention. If you are in a big house and you want to find someone, you might call TO them, or ‘call their name’ – shouting it loudly so they will hear and come to them. As I say, it’s very different to calling.
When you’re talking about phones, and ‘call’ is a verb, you don’t need ‘to’. BUT, when you’re talking about phones and ‘call’ is a noun, you can use ‘to’. For example, ‘I’m going to make A CALL TO the office’, or ‘I placed A CALL TO my sister’. In these cases ‘to’ is ok, because ‘call’ is a noun. But when it’s a verb, leave out the prepositions.
There’s a similar situation with ‘contact with’. When ‘contact’ is a noun, you often need ‘with’. For example, ‘I will get in contact with him’ or ‘I keep in contact with my best friend’. But when ‘contact’ is a verb, don’t include ‘with’. Don’t say ‘I will contact with you’. It should just be ‘I will contact you’.
To finish, here are a variety of ways to promise a phone call:
* I’ll call you
* I’ll ring you
* I’ll phone you
* I’ll get in touch
* I’ll be in contact
* I’ll give you a call
* I’ll give you a ring
* I’ll give you a bell
* I’ll get on the blower (this one really isn’t very common)

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