I’m pretty sure that the following expression is quite common to have someone else make the decision in everyday speaking.

It's your call.

Ngram Viewer justifies it.

enter image description here

The graph also indicates that the negative version of it is much less common than its positive version.

It's not your call.

However, the statistic is based upon written English.

In real life, is it common to say "it's not your call" in speaking?

  • Are you asking about "your call" (decision) or "your calling" (career)?
    – Davo
    Jul 1 '20 at 13:43

Yes, it is fine in spoken English. In fact you should find it is more common in speech.

Note that "It's your call" means "It is your decision to make". So "It's not your call" means "It is not your decision to make". So it is a slightly argumentative phrase. You are exerting authority over someone.

I'm think we should use server-side javascript.

Well I'm sorry but it's not your call. I'm the senior engineer and I get to make this kind of decision.

  • Thank you. "It's not your call" indicates exerting authority over someone while "It's your call" doesn't, right?
    – JQQ
    Jun 27 '20 at 9:10
  • Yes.. "It's your call" means giving someone else the authority.
    – James K
    Jun 27 '20 at 9:14

It's more common in US English, less so in British English. The use of "call" to mean "decide" tends to be limited in BrEng to deciding on events (eg "call a meeting", "call an election" etc) and has wider use in AmEng (eg "call time", "call BS" etc)

In British English, we instead usually say "it is up to you", although US expressions are widely recognised and understood among BrEng speakers due to their use in television and film.


It's not your call is less common not because of a linguistic reason, but simply because of its negativity (same as you saying "You're not the boss, don't tell us what to do!"). People tend to avoid saying it, instead they choose more tactful wording. Just the same reason I love you should be more common than I don't love you.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.