Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Call back

  1. #1
    greystroke is offline Junior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Tamil
      • Home Country:
      • India
      • Current Location:
      • India
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    49
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Call back

    Hi All,

    In one of my classes recently a student wanted to know what was wrong with ' I will call back to you'? I know it sounds natural to say " I will call you back" but is there something wrong with the students construction? ( Especially when we do split Phrasal verbs like call up with a subject- I will call John up, I will call up John)

    Please clarify.

    Arun

  2. #2
    Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
    Chicken Sandwich is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Netherlands
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    1,458
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Call back

    ***NOT A TEACHER***

    Quote Originally Posted by greystroke View Post
    In one of my classes recently a student wanted to know what was wrong with ' I will call back to you'? I know it sounds natural to say " I will call you back" but is there something wrong with the students construction? ( Especially when we do split Phrasal verbs like call up with a subject- I will call John up, I will call up John)
    Yes, "to" is redundant:

    I will call back to you.

    And the word order is wrong. It should be:

    I will call you back.

    The phrasal verb is "call (somebody) back". This explains why "you" should be placed after "call".

  3. #3
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    22,297
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Call back

    "I will call back to you" is not natural but it is grammatical. The phrasal verb "call back" can be used in different ways.

  4. #4
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,168
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Call back

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    "I will call back to you" is not natural but it is grammatical.
    hmmm

    1. I looked the word up (in the dictionary)
    2. I looked up the word.

    3. I looked up the chimney.
    4. I looked the chimney up.


    5. I'll give you a book.
    6. I'll give a book to you.


    I think we can say that #4 is not grammatical. It's not that it is unnatural; it's not possible with the 'grammar' of the verb + preposition.
    Now, if we are talking about telephoning,

    7. I'll call you back.
    8. I'll call back to you.

    #8 is not unnatural, it's ungrammatical. But, if we have two people arranging to shout (call) a message to each other across the steet,

    9. I'll call you back.
    10. I'll call back to you.

    #10 is fine, but #9, I think, is not just unnatural, but ungrammatical.
    Last edited by 5jj; 22-Jul-2012 at 15:07. Reason: typo
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  5. #5
    greystroke is offline Junior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Tamil
      • Home Country:
      • India
      • Current Location:
      • India
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    49
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Call back

    Dear 5jj

    Your example of two people shouting across the street makes perfect sense.

    Thanks,
    Arun

Similar Threads

  1. I shall call an argument I shall call the world
    By suprunp in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 24-Oct-2011, 15:55
  2. Miss Call or Missed Call?
    By prattsishunk in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 07-Jan-2011, 11:55
  3. [General] call/call out/call back/call for/call off
    By vil in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 23-Mar-2010, 12:30
  4. Draw back/Fall back/Back off?
    By sambistapt in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 24-Apr-2008, 19:46
  5. England fight back/fights back ?
    By Donny in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 24-Apr-2006, 03:56

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •