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Which one is better if I mean 'to make a [tele]phone call'?

Tomorrow I have to call my doctor.

or

Tomorrow I have to call to my doctor.

Are there any suggestions for a better way to express "to telephone" in this example?

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  • The most common usage is "to call". You could be more clear by saying "phone your doctor", but I don't believe I've ever heard "telephone" used as a verb.
    – user11628
    Commented Oct 5, 2016 at 22:21
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    It is idiomatic to say: Tomorrow I have to call my doctor. (without the preposition "to".) However, the preposition is idiomatic in Tomorrow I have to make a call to my doctor. Commented Oct 5, 2016 at 22:21
  • It was used in BrE. You will often hear it in old British films, e.g. "I shall telephone the police."
    – Mick
    Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 0:53
  • I've heard "to telephone" used as a verb, but it does seem a little old-fashioned. to phone is more modern.
    – stangdon
    Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 15:01

1 Answer 1

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To call someone is almost always assumed to mean making a telephone call to them. It is by far the most common way to express making a telephone call.

I called my parents last night.

To call to someone means to shout (or otherwise speak loudly) to them, usually because they are some distance away, and often specifically to get their attention.

We called to them from the other side of the street.

To call someone to somewhere means to summon them, or ask them to come, to some place.

She called me to her office to discuss what had happened.

To call someone or something a name is to refer to them by that name.

Her name is MacKenzie, but her friends call her "Mac."

These are the first four definitions of to call given here, and are probably the most common way the word is used. They can be distinguished by what kinds of nouns are used (people, places, names) and whether and how "to" is used. That page gives other definitions as well, but those can also be distinguished by the types of nouns and prepositions used.

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