Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

call the shots

call the shots
1) be in charge, have control over sth
  • How to MemorizePopularity MediumProfessional MediumSocial
    • the boss/captain/supervisor called the shots
  • Analysis
    A person who 'calls the shots' is in control or has the authority to make decisions. This expression comes from leaders of armies or in war who literally made decisions on what shots should be fired. The person who calls the shots is in a position of power. This is an idiomatic expression that can be used in social and professional situations. Similar in meaning to 'be in the driving seat'.
  • Social Examples (Basic)
    1. I call the shots around here, said the boss to his employee.
    2. When the coach missed the game through illness, it was his assistant who called the shots. 
  • Professional Examples (Basic)
    1. I prefer the first version of the graphics but at the end of the day, it's the client who calls the shots.
    2. There are a few difficult decisions to be made I'm glad I'm not in the position where I have to call the shots.
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