The teacher entered the classroom and did/made/read/gave a roll call.

From the results I found on google, it seems as if the term "roll call" (a reading of the students' name to check if they are present) is not used this way and none of the options in bold are common. What are the most used phrases to say what I mean in the example?

3 Answers 3


This US English speaker would say that the teacher called roll or called the roll, because in roll call, the noun is call, and the verb that you do with a call is, well, call it.

For example,

In Sunday school one day, he called roll...

The roll was called.

...some groups rotate how they call roll.

This usage actually seems to be more common than make or take or do a roll call or anything else: Google Ngrams graph here


'Did' or 'took' are commonly used; other words or phrases are possible, such as 'performed', 'carried out', 'undertook'.

roll call noun [ C ] UK ​ /ˈrəʊl ˌkɔːl/ US ​ /ˈroʊl ˌkɑːl/ ​ If someone does a roll call, they read aloud the names of all the people on the list to make certain that they are present.

Roll call (Cambridge Dictionary)

roll call also roll-call Word forms: plural roll calls 1. variable noun If you take a roll call, you check which of the members of a group are present by reading their names out.

Roll call (Collins Dictionary)

Exact-phrase Google searches can give an idea of frequency of usage:

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"Take roll" is most natural to me.

  • "Take roll" is a bit US-specific. Jun 2, 2018 at 20:21

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