In this sentence

Some versions are derived by seeding faults, called mutants, of the original versions.

Why do we use called, rather than call?

2 Answers 2


Because the name, mutants, was given in the past.

We say:

I'm Roberto, but call me Bob.

My name's Roberto, but you can call me Bob.

Call me if you need help

"Call" in all three cases is used in the simple present tense.

  • 1
    umm No. The form of call used in these sentences is identical with the form employed in 'simple present', but the form represents imperative mood in the first and third sentences and a bare infinitive in the second. Jun 13, 2013 at 12:51
  • Yes, all very well. I wasn't intent on giving a detailed description on every use. I merely wanted to illustrate why in the OP's phrase, "...seeding faults, called mutants,.." "call" was inappropriate by showing examples when the simple present is used. This is ELL not EL&U, I presume the user's level of English is not high enough to comprehend, for now, such technical details (for them).
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jun 13, 2013 at 14:59

The word "called" here is a past participle. In this case, the past participle indicates that the noun modified ("faults") is the object of the verb ("to call"). The sentence "These faults are called mutants" means the same thing as "People call these faults mutants".

"Call" cannot be used because "call" is not a participle, and "calling" (the present participle) cannot be used because that would indicate that the noun modified, "faults", is the subject of the verb "to call".

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