Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

Hi, everybody. Welcome back to Know Your Verbs. My name is Alisha and, in this lesson, we're going to talk about the verb, "call." Let's get started.
Let's look at the basic definition for this verb. The basic definition of the verb, "call," is to use a phone or other device to communicate with someone, like an iPhone or maybe video call with your computer.
Example sentences, "Call me maybe." "I tried calling but nobody answered."
Now, let's look at the conjugations for this verb. Present, call, calls. Past, called. Past participle, called. Progressive, calling.
So, now, let's talk about some additional meanings for this verb. So, the first additional meaning is to give someone a name or to address someone with that name. Examples, "Please call me Alfred." "Let's go to that new restaurant called TGI Thursday's." So, we use "call" to refer to people's names or to names of like restaurants, locations, whatever. You can say, "a place called," "a person called," or "he is called," "she's called" to refer to the name or to refer to like a nickname as well.
Let's go on to the second additional meaning for this which is to think of someone or something as something else. So, this is sort of a vague, hard to understand definition. Let's look at some examples, "She let you stay at her house? That's what I call a friend." "He's smart, but I wouldn't call him a genius." So, here, we're thinking of someone as something else. In the first example, "that's what I call a friend," so when the person speaking uses the verb, "call," they mean that's what I consider a friend. So, I consider a person like that to be a friend. But we use call to make that a shorter expression. In the second example sentence, "I wouldn't call him a genius," we're seeing I would not say that he is a genius, I would not consider him to be a genius. So, that doesn't seem appropriate to me. So, we shortened this by saying, "I wouldn't call him a genius."
The third additional meaning for the verb, "call," is to use a loud voice, like to get someone's attention, the attention of a person, the attention of an animal, maybe a crowd. You're calling something. You're calling out for something. You might hear call out or call for, or call to, perhaps even. Examples, "Call the dog over here." "She called her son's name as she searched the crowd." So, in both of these, we're using a big voice to get someone's attention. So, "call the dog over here" means like use your voice, like call the dog's name, for example, or do something to get the dog's attention and make the dog come over here. In the second example sentence, a woman is maybe searching for her son and she's calling his name as she searches through a crowd. So, using a loud voice in the hopes of getting someone's attention.
Let's go on to the next additional meaning which is to request an event or an action. So, this is when we want something to happen and it usually sounds a little bit formal. Examples, "The CEO called a board meeting." "We call for new parks regulations in our neighborhood." Okay. So, this means we want something, we're demanding something, we're requesting something. "The CEO called a board meeting" means the CEO demanded or strongly requested a board meeting. So, it's like the CEO made this request and everybody came to the meeting. So, in the second example sentence, "We call for new parks regulations in our neighborhood," there we see the demand is for a regulation. The people, we, want something in the neighborhood. They're requesting new regulations. So, they use the expression, "we call for something." So, you can use both of these like to call an event, like to call a meeting, to call a board meeting, to call a conference, or you can call for something to happen or some kind of change to happen, call for blah, blah, blah.
Let's move on to some variations for this verb. The first one is actually sort of two expressions in one. It's "call it a day" and "call it a night." This is an expression we use when we are ready to finish working or finish like enjoying ourselves, finish playing as well. We typically use these as adults. Children don't really use these expressions. We use "call it a day" at the end of a working day. We use "call it a night" when we're ready to be finished like spending time with friends or ready to come home after being out late at night, for example. Examples, "It's 8. I think I'm going to call it a day." "It's been fun, but I'm going to call it a night." So, in both of these, you can see "I'm going to call it a night" means I'm going to say that I'm ready to be done for the day is essentially what this means. So, "I am finished." To say this very, very quickly. I'm finished for today. "I'm going to call it a day" means I'm calling today finished or I'm calling tonight finished. I'm considering it finished. So, you'll hear it "call it a day" for work and "call it a night" for fun activities.
Okay. Let's go on to the second variation. The second variation is to "call someone or something off." This expression means to cancel something like an event or to stop someone's behavior. This can be for, well, a person or, I suppose, for an animal as well. Examples, "Call your dog off." "Oh no, it's going to rain. We have to call off the BBQ." So, in both of these situations, there's something that must be cancelled. So, in the first example, "Call your dog off," it means your dog is maybe too aggressive. Someone's dog is too aggressive. It's barking. It's making noise. It's attacking someone, maybe. So, "Call your dog off" means stop your dog's behavior. In the second example sentence, "We're going to have to call off the barbeque" means we're going to have to cancel the barbecue because of rain, in this case. So, to call off an event or to call off a person, to call off an animal. It means to stop or to cancel that thing.
So, those are a few new ways I hope that you can use the verb, "call." I hope that that was helpful for you. Of course, if you know some other ways to use the verb, "call," there are quite a few, please feel free to give it a try or let us know in the comments of this video.
Thanks very much for watching this episode of Know Your Verbs and we'll see you again soon. Bye-bye.