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To call  is to refer to someone or something or attempt to contact someone. 

  • What is this called? (What is the name of this thing?) 
  • Everyone calls me Paul. (I appreciate people using my first name.) 
  • I tried calling the office, but there was no answer. (call = use a phone) 

The word “call” can be used as a verb or as a noun. 

These examples show the word "call" as a verb:

a.  call = contact; attempt to reach by voice or by phone

  • When I call my dog, she comes to me. 
  • The customer called to the waiter who came to the table. 
  • The customer called him to the table. 
  • You really have to call your mother on Mother’s Day. 
  • With a mobile phone, you can call anyone at anytime anywhere in the world. That’s amazing!  
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  • Maria called her friend on the phone. 
  • She calls her friend at least once a week. 
  • Who usually calls you on your phone? 

Whom do you often call? 

 b.  call = use a person’s name; identify a thing or a person

  • A: What is this thing called in English? (What is the name of this thing?) 
  • B: It’s called a stapler. 
  • A: What do you call a person who cooks for a living? 
  • B: That person is called a “cook.” 
  • In American schools, the teacher is called by his or her last name: Mr. Wilson, Ms. Smith, Mr. Lawrence, Miss Harris, etc
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  • A: What is he holding in his hands? 
  • B: It’s called a shovel. 
  • A: What is his name? 
  • B: His name is Michael, but everyone calls him by his nickname: Mick. 

The thing in his hands is called a shovel

These examples show how "call" is used as a noun.

c.  call = a decision; exercise of judgement

  • She made a good call. (She made a good decision.) 
  • It’s your call. (You may made the decision.)
  • The referee’s call hurt the team’s chances of winning the game. 
  • The CEO of the company made a call last year that cost the company millions of dollars. 
  • I made a bad call on a stock and lost some money.  

In these sentences, “call” is a noun. Notice that the verb “make” is often used in these kinds of circumstance. 

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  • The referee makes calls on the field. 
  • She tries to make calls that are fair. 
  • Most of the referee’s calls are good. 
  • Some calls are bad. 

d.  call = a request

  • The police put out a call for the public’s help in finding a criminal. 
  • A call for peace was ignored by both warring parties. 
  • Calls for an end to hostilities were made by international peace organizations.  

In these sentences, “call” is a noun. Notice that the verb “make” is often used in these kinds of circumstance. 

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  • Their calls for peace were not listened. 
  • Countries in Europe called on Russia to end its occupation of Ukraine. (This example uses “call” as a verb. 
  • A call for international cooperation in solving the problem is having some positive effects. 
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