According to Cambridge Dictionary a phone call (also phonecall) is something that you make, and provides the following examples
- Will you excuse me? I need to make a phone call.
- I've got a few phone calls to make.
Collins Dictionary defines phone call as:
If you make a phone call, you dial someone's phone number and speak to them by phone.
3. Wait there a minute. I just have to make a phone call.
However, there's also the expression “give someone a call” which Cambridge says:
give someone a call/ring
- Give me a call/ring (= phone me) when you get back from holiday.
Longman offers numerous examples and suggest that call can be substituted with buzz and in British English with either ring or bell. I don't think I've ever heard anyone say “give somebody a bell”, but the BBC's website Learning English confirms that it is indeed a valid British expression.
The snippet below is taken from an English language course book called Complete Advanced by Cambridge Press. In this exercise, students are asked to replace the verb underlined with give or make or mark it as correct.
- In my boss's absence, I give telephone calls to customers, clean desks, and write emails.
The correct answer for Q6 is “I make telephone calls…”. Why would “give a call to a customer” or “give telephone calls to customers” be incorrect? When we give a call to someone, we manually select their number and “dial” it.
Is there a reason we don't say "make someone a call” even when it involves “dialling” i.e. making a telephone call? And vice-versa, if we can “give someone a call”, why can't we “give a phone call” too?
P.S Q7 is correct!