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Do you remember?

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Key Member
Mar 20, 2008
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Dear Teachers,

I am studying "Phrasal verbs in Use" by M. McCarthy and F. O'Dell and recently I've come across "summon up", "call up", "conjure up" some memories.
"A:Look at this picture.
B: Godness me, It must be at least 20 years ago. It does "conjure up/summon up/call up" some good memories".

Are these phrasal verbs in common use?

I only know that call sth up (COMPUTING) means to find and show information on a computer screen:
You can use the search facility to call up all the occurrences of a particular word in a document.

As I know summon means to order someone to come to or be present at a particular place, or to officially arrange a meeting of people:
On July 20th, the council was summoned to hear an emergency report on its finances.

At least I am familiar with conjure sth up which means to make a picture or idea appear in someone's mind:
The glittering ceremony conjured up images of Russia's imperial past.

What is the difference among those three phrasal verbs I mentioned, please?




No Longer With Us
Oct 19, 2006
Member Type
The answer is that all these are fine in the context, that they all mean the picture triggers your memory.

However, they are also somewhat "literary". You will hear them, but not in what I would see as a common and colloquial situation.

To rephrase this dialogue as a colloquial one:

A:Look at this picture.
B: Must be at least 20 years ago. Goodness, how that brings things back! Some great memories there.
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