To continue our series on phrasal or compound verbs, we’ve singled out some that begin with the letter C. The focus here is just on two verbs: “call” and “come”. There are many!







call at

To stop at

Example: The train from Lausanne calls at Nyon before arriving in Geneva.


call away

To cause to leave or go; to summon

Example: The doctor was called away from dinner to treat the accident victims.


call for

To require

Example: That performance calls for a round of applause!


To request or demand

Example: The commuters called for cheaper fares.


To summon or pick up

Example: The chauffeur called for the couple at midday.


To predict or describe

Example: The financial forecast calls for rocky times ahead.


call in

To report back

Example: You should call in regularly so we know where you are.


To summon

Example: They called in five experts to assess the damage.


To participate via telephone

Example: The woman called in to the radio station to play the guessing game.


To require payment

Example: The bank called in loans to address financial concerns.


call off

To cancel

Example: The picnic was called off because of the rain.


To [verbally] confirm attendance

Example: They called off, one by one, before going on the mission.


call on

To visit

Example: We plan to call on the queen – that is, we’ll try!


To select

Example: The candidate called on the reporter in the last row to avoid hearing the question.


To demand action

Example: To meet the public trend towards multitasking, they called on the company to produce more Post-it notes.


call out

To announce or speak

Example: Call out the first word that comes to mind when I say, “weekend”.


To challenge

Example: He called her out on her extreme views.


[be] called to

To have an urge or vocation

Example: She was called to serving in the Red Cross.


call up

To phone someone

Example: I called him up to see if he found my car keys.


To induct or summon

Example: Five hundred reservists were called up to man posts along the border.


To select someone to play on a team

Example: The promising player was called up for the international match against France.


come about

To occur

Example: The event you were waiting for has come about.


come across

To find unexpectedly

Example: While reading the book, I came across a photo of my hometown.


To provide

Example: He finally came across with the details.


come along

To arrive or to appear

Example: Just when you give up waiting, a cab comes along!


To make progress or improve

Example: How are your piano lessons coming along?


To go with

Example: Although he wasn’t invited, he came along to the party with us.


come off

To separate from or detach

Example: The wheel came off my car just as I pulled into the garage.


To succeed or produce the desired result

Example: We wondered if her message would come off or be totally misunderstood.


To resemble or appear to be

Example: That comes off as being arrogant.


come on

To make progress or improve

Example: Peter’s book is coming on well.


To start working

Example: The lights mysteriously came on when the door opened.


To begin a broadcast

Example: “Downton Abbey” comes on in 10 minutes!


come out

To declare

Example: They finally came out in favour of building the skyscraper.


To assert one’s homosexuality

He came out after years of saying nothing.


To appear (be published)

Example: The new issue of the magazine came out last week.


To emerge

Example: From our discussion, it came out that we disagreed on every point.


come through

To survive

Example: He came through the crash without a scratch.


To succeed, do what’s expected

Example: They came through in the end to win the game!


come to

To regain consciousness

Example: When Oliver came to, his dog began to lick his face.


To add up to

Example: Your total cost for my time comes to 55 euros.


To recognize or appear

Example: That idea came to me while I was showering.


come up

To walk up to

Example: I did not know him but he came up to me to shake my hand.


To approach or draw near

Example: The festival is coming up; don’t forget to make your costume.


To occur or present itself

Example: The slot machine came up all watermelons – she won the jackpot!


To travel to

Example: Come up to the ranch for the weekend.


To be mentioned

Example: Her name came up in the discussion.

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