Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

call (on/upon)

call oncall upon
Meaning(s)
1) formally ask somebody or require a particular attribute to do something
  • How to MemorizePopularity HighProfessional HighSocial
    • call upon someone to speak
  • Analysis

    To call on someone or something or to call someone to do something means to officially ask a person or organisation to act in some way. To call on someone can also mean to invite or ask someone to speak. The phrasal verb to call upon has a similar meaning which is to ask or demand that somebody do something or to invite someone to make a short speech.

  • Social Examples (Basic)
    1. The protesters were calling on the government to do more to combat climate change.
    2. When my tyre was flat I had to call on my sister to help me change it.
  • Professional Examples (Basic)
    1. My boss told me that I might be called upon to speak at the conference, so I had better prepare some notes.
    2. This task calls upon a certain amount of maturity and expertise, so I assigned it to my most experienced member of staff.
  • Further Suggestions
2) visit somebody for a short time
  • How to MemorizePopularity HighProfessional HighSocial
    • call on somebody to see how they are
  • Analysis

    To call on someone can mean to visit somebody for a short time usually for a social visit or to check that they are okay. This use of the phrasal verb is more often used in a social context.

  • Social Examples (Basic)
    1. I heard Philip had been sick, so I called on him to see if he was alright.
    2. I'll be calling on Charlotte on my way back from work today, so don't expect me home until later this evening.
  • Further Suggestions
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