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Thread: call v. say

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    #1

    call v. say

    -"May I ask how long he has been here?”

    - “Call it a couple of weeks.

    This dialog is from the book Most Wanted Man by John Le Carre. I have learnt one of the uses of "call" now. But something makes me think that
    the author could prefer "Say it a couple of weeks". Would it be identical with the original for this case?

    Thank you.

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    #2

    Re: call v. say

    No. Le Carré could have written "You could say it's been a couple of weeks" with no difference in meaning.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #3

    Re: call v. say

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    No. Le Carré could have written "You could say it's been a couple of weeks" with no difference in meaning.
    Can we think of "say" and "call" as synonymous for this case?

    Thank you.

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    #4

    Re: call v. say

    They aren't interchangeable, but the phrasal verb "call it" and the idiom "you could say it is" are near synonyms.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #5

    Re: call v. say

    How many balls are in that basket?
    I don't know. Let's call it forty.

    How many balls are in that basket?
    I don't know. Let's say forty.

    In that exchange, the phrases "Let's call it" and "Let's say" are interchangeable but that doesn't mean that "call" and "say" are interchangeable in other contexts.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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