Daniel had a dilemma. Who could he call on to help him get out of this difficult situation? His mother called out from the kitchen, but he ignored her. He had to sort this out before he went to school. He had two dates for next Saturday evening and he had to call one of them off. Which one? He had arranged to call for Daisy at seven and take her to the cinema. But, yesterday, Cindy had phoned and said she would call for him at 7.30 and take him to her sister's barbecue. He hadn't said that he already had a date for Saturday. Help! If he called off his date with Cindy, she would explode and he would have to call out the fire service to put out the flames. If he called off his date with Daisy, she would hit him over the head several times and he would have to call out an ambulance to take him to hospital. Daniel had to avoid calling forth such anger at all costs. Both girls did not like being messed around. His mum called out again: 'Are you ready?' Daniel decided to call on Denis, his best friend, for help. Denis owed him a favour. The two of them should be able to sort this out. Denis would know which date to call off. Daniel called out, 'I'm coming', and smiled as he walked out of his bedroom. He would call for Denis on the way to school and discuss the problem. The five verbal phrases highlighted in this story are easy both to understand and to use. 1. TO CALL FOR - means to come and collect something or someone. It can also mean to require something as necessary I'll call for you after breakfast. The job calls for HKCEE English. 2. TO CALL FORTH - is a very formal phrase. It means to bring out an emotional reaction from something Those photos called forth many happy memories. 3. TO CALL OFF - means to cancel an arrangement I am going to call off our dinner on Sunday. 4. TO CALL ON - means to ask for a response from someone I am going to call on our chairman to speak. 5. TO CALL OUT - means to ask an organisation (police, hospital service, a doctor) to come out and help When I discovered the robbery, I called out the police. NOW YOUR TURN TASK 1 Which is the correct word? 1. I am going to call (off/forth) my engagement. 2. My brother has called (forth/on) dad for help. 3. He's very ill. We need to call (out/off) a doctor. 4. I'll call (forth/for) you at six tonight. 5. Why did you call (for/off) our date? TASK 2 Make the necessary changes in these sentences so that they make sense. 1. That is the fourth time this week that she has called forth a dinner date. 2. Let's go shopping tomorrow. I'll call off you at ten. 3. It was a false alarm. I should not have called on the fire service. 4. I would like to call forth our principal to present the prizes. 5. That song always calls on sad memories. Answers off/on/out/for/off called off/call for/called out/call on/calls forth Young Post's language exercises won't kill you. Thomas and Mandie survived. Mandie Ho, 17 TWGHs Mrs Wu York Yu Memorial College I don't understand the sentence 'Denis owed him a favour' in paragraph 4. What does this mean? Also, what is the difference between 'call' and 'call for'? I find this exercise tricky. I learned in school that 'call for' means 'demand', but here the phrase has a different meaning. I'm not sure which one is correct. Thomas Li, 16 St Joseph's College I like the article. It helped me understand the phrases better. The phrase 'CALL UPON' could also be included as it is common. By the way, I think that you can use 'CALLED UPON' for question 3 of Task 2.