The dictionary entry of 打電話 that is given here says:
- to make a telephone call
Therefore, I would expect to be able to use it like this:
我 晚上 要 打電話 媽媽
However, I found the following example here:
我 晚上 要 給 媽媽 打電話
Q: are both versions valid? are they both the same?
Should 打電話 be read as a single unit or broken down into 打 電話 ? Is this a relevant issue?
The dictionary entry of 打 that is given here lists:
to send or call
打電報 / 打电报 ― dǎ diànbào ― to send a telegraph
打電話 / 打电话 ― dǎ diànhuà ― to call on the telephone
打手機 / 打手机 ― dǎ shǒujī ― to call on the cellphone