Call on - Phrasal Verbs Tutorials

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Welcome to twominenglish.com. Teaching you English through two-minute lessons. In this lesson we learn about the verb “call on” and how to use it in conversations.




Hello, great to see you here (Smile). From time to time, we call on someone for help, go visit our friends, or ask someone to do something for us. In all these contexts, we can use “call on.”

In this lesson we’ll see some conversations that show us the use of “call on.” Practice the lesson by repeating the dialog out loud after hearing it once.To increase your vocabulary a bit, remember to check out and practice the vocabulary section at the end.

 Let’s get started now!




Jacob: Hey, did you see that the President called on the wealthy countries for financial aid after the floods destroyed much of the country's agriculture?


Pete: Called on? What does that mean?


Jacob: Oh, called on means a lot of things. But in my sentence it means that the president asked for help. 


Pete: Okay. I never knew that. So what other things does the phrase “call on” mean?


Jacob: It can also mean that you are visiting someone. Like in “Since we were in the area, I paid a call on my sister in law”.


Pete: It means you visited your sister in law?


Jacob: Yes, that’s right. 


Pete: Can “call on” also mean to ask someone to do something, especially to speak in public? Like in “I now call on the other party to give their account of what happened”.


Jacob: Yes, that’s right. You’ve got it.


Call on someone.


Rosie: So what did you do on your weekend?


Jill: Nothing much. I was in Beverly Hills, so I called on my best friend Cindy and we hung out.


Rosie: That’s great. My friend called on me on Saturday, too.


Jill: What did you guys do?


Rosie: We went to the amusement park.


Jill: It must’ve been fun.


Rosie: Yeah, it was.


Asking for help.


Robert: Hey, I heard you moved to another house!


Lia: Yeah. I did.


Robert: Did you do it by yourself?


Lia: No, no. I called on my friends to help me pack my stuff and to move it all to the new place.


Robert: Oh, that’s good. You could’ve called on me, though.


Lia: Yeah. I was gonna call on you but then I thought you’d be busy.


Robert: No, I wasn’t. It’s okay; next time you can definitely call on me anytime you need help.


Lia: Thanks. I hope I won’t be moving again soon!


Asking someone to do something.


Robert: Is your work done?


Jill: I thought it was, but they’re calling on me to do even more. 


Robert: Haven’t you done enough work for them?


Jill: I’ve done some, but they’re calling on everyone to do more work, not just me.


Robert: Oh, that’s too bad. But you’ll still manage to complete it.


Jill: Yes, I will.


Robert: That’s fantastic. But next time maybe you could call on Robin or someone else, so that you can work together. 


Jill: Okay, that would be a good idea.

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