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Thread: call on

  1. #1
    Xiaoyong Huang is offline Newbie
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    Red face call on

    "At one point, a CNN reporter suggested the president could call on women reporters". President Trump has been criticised for disrespect for women. At one press conference, he only call on male reporters. What does the phrasal verb-call on mean in the context? Does it mean to allow reporters to ask questions? (I've looked into my dictionary but can't find a satisfied answer)

  2. #2
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Re: call on

    "Does the verb "call on" mean to allow reporters to ask questions?"

    Essentially, yes.

    Given the number of press conferences he's done, I'd say that only one in which he didn't call on females is consistent with chance. Of course, some would say that he's obliged to call of 50:50 males and females. His own Press Secretary is a woman. Maybe on the day in question all the women there came from what Trump claims is fake-media.
    Last edited by Raymott; 14-Nov-2018 at 10:18.

  3. #3
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Re: call on

    Yes, you read it correctly.

    The phrase has very specific meanings.

    - Give permission to speak:

    To keep order in a classroom, press conference, or meeting, we take turns speaking by raising our hands and waiting for permission to speak. The person leading the discussion calls on people to give them permission.

    If the person leading the conversation doesn't call on you, you can't speak. So women are angry because they're not being called on.

    - Visit:

    Call on can also mean visit:

    - I called on my aunt to see if she was well.

    - Please call on me when you're in town.

    Note that terms such as called upon, call up, call for, and call out do not mean the same thing as call on.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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    Re: call on

    Quote Originally Posted by Xiaoyong Huang View Post
    "At one point, a CNN reporter suggested the president could call on women reporters". President Trump has been criticised (AmE criticized) for disrespecting for women. At one press conference, he only called on male reporters. What does the phrasal verb 'call on' mean in the this context? Does it mean to allow reporters to ask questions? (I've looked into in my dictionary but can't find a satisfied satisfactory answer)
    See my corrections to your original post.
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

  5. #5
    BryanJ.Greene's Avatar
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    Re: call on

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    Yes, you read it correctly.

    The phrase has very specific meanings.

    - Give permission to speak:

    To keep order in a classroom, press conference, or meeting, we take turns speaking by raising our hands and waiting for permission to speak. The person leading the discussion calls on people to give them permission.

    If the person leading the conversation doesn't call on you, you can't speak. So women are angry because they're not being called on.

    - Visit:

    Call on can also mean visit:

    - I called on my aunt to see if she was well.

    - Please call on me when you're in town.

    Note that terms such as called upon, call up, call for, and call out do not mean the same thing as call on.
    Thank you for this example. Such it's a nice discussion about" Call On".

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