Can we say:

  • There are different ways of telephone calls.

Is it grammatically correct?

I mean, can a noun follow "ways of"?

Is this construction possible?

  • The way of (noun)
  • Your example makes no sense. What are you trying to say? – BillJ Jan 14 at 10:10
  • @BillJ There are different ways of the telephone calls: local, international, national, etc – LoveLanguagesAndPeople Jan 14 at 10:22
  • Probably, the word "types" is more appropriate here. However, what can we do with the word "way"? – LoveLanguagesAndPeople Jan 14 at 10:29
  • There are different/various ways to make telephone calls, or "...ways of making..." – Weather Vane Jan 14 at 10:34
  • @WeatherVane Can we say: "There are different ways of telephone callings"? – LoveLanguagesAndPeople Jan 14 at 10:38

There are different ways of telephone calls.

does not sound good English. If you look at the defintion of way in Oxford languages you will find that it cannot be a synonym of "kind" or "type".

As it is, your sentence would sound better, as you have shown yourself in a comment, if you say:

There are different types/kinds of telephone calls.

As for the construction you give, which I would rather express as different ways of + noun, exactly as it is in your sentence, I would point out that here way means:

a method, style, or manner of doing something; an optional or alternative form of action.

  • Ex: I hated their way of cooking potatoes.(from the source provided above)

This construction is definitely possible, but the noun must be a verbal noun describing an action, an activity. (the noun derived from the verb includes -ing forms and suffixes as -tion, -ance, etc.)

One of the most idiomatic uses of this construction is:

different ways of communication (where "communication" is derived from the verb "communicate" and refers to the activity of communicating)

Look at this instance from Workzone:

Different situations require different ways of communication.

However, different ways of communicating is much more common, as you can see on Gngram.

In fact, Gngram again shows that "different ways of" is most commonly followed by gerunds which function as verbal nouns.

Expressions like telephone calling or calling by telephone are rare or in evident decline (see Gngram), and so I would rephrase your sentence in this way:

There are different ways of making a phone call.


Your example isn't idiomatic, but not for the reason that you have a noun following "the way of". For example, a common expression is "the way of the world", and "the world" is a noun, so there's nothing wrong with that specifically.

What makes your example wrong is that it is incorrect to refer to "ways" of 'telephone calls'. There are several meanings of 'way', but in this context it is a method of doing something, so it needs to refer to a verb. To indicate variance in the manner in which the calls are made, you could use other group nouns such as 'types' or 'kinds' of call:

  • types of telephone call
  • ways of making telephone calls.

For example, you could say:

There different ways of making telephone calls.
There are different types of telephone call.


"The way of the [noun]" can be valid.

In general, "the way of the [noun]" can be valid, and it refers to a lifestyle that centers around the noun in question. For instance, "the way of the sword" refers to the lifestyle and martial arts of a sword fighter. This is typically used in an historical or fantasy context.

This wouldn't really apply to telephone calls, though, because that's not something that you base your life around.


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.