I'd like to tell my friends that I've made a call and no one answered. Which of the following sentence should I use?

  1. I called them, but no one answered.
  2. I called to them, but no one answered.
  3. I called them up, but no one answered.

Should I use "no one has answered" instead of "no one answered" ?


"Call" meaning "make a telephone (or radio, or Skype etc) call" is transitive.

"Call to" is only used used literally, in the meaning "raise your voice so that somebody not close to you will hear you".

"Called them up" is possible, but to me reads a little oddly. It suggests that there was a more purposeful or intentional nature to the calling, but the suggestion is only slight.

"No one answered" seems more natural here, but "no one has answered" is possible - it implies that this has only just happened, and you are still in the aftermath of the failed attempt. In that case "I have called them" would be natural.

  • 1
    So, it should be : "I have called them, but no one has answered" ?
    – Yeynno
    May 31 '17 at 4:49
  • 1
    That's possible. In fact, all four combinations are possible: I called/have called them but no one answered/has answered., with I called them but noone has answered being the least likely. The difference in each case, is in how the speaker is relating the events to the present situation.
    – Colin Fine
    May 31 '17 at 15:03

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