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The other day, I was in my car, waiting for a traffic light behind a pedestrian crossing. A friend of mine crossed the street right in front of me. For some reason, I didn't try to get his attention. I didn't do anything to make him notice me.

Is there any verb to replace "try to get his attention" or "make him notice me" in the two previous sentences? "Notify" and "inform" are tagged as formal in my dictionary. What other verbs will a native speaker use in this case?

  • You could use the word obtrusive: "I didn't do anything obtrusive." – Robusto Oct 18 '14 at 23:55
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"The other day, I was in my car, waiting for a traffic light behind a pedestrian crossing. A friend of mine crossed the street right in front of me. For some reason, I didn't call out to him.

Also, from macmillandictionary.com:

call out:

PHRASAL VERB

[INTRANSITIVE/TRANSITIVE] to shout something, especially when you are trying to get someone's attention

call out to: I tried to call out to him through the window.

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  • Can I just say "I didn't call him?" or that would necessarily mean calling by phone? – Shah Oct 18 '14 at 4:02
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    This isn't a general verb that means to get someone's attention. This is one of the ways to get someone's attention. – ermanen Oct 18 '14 at 4:03
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The other day, I was in my car, waiting for a traffic light behind a pedestrian crossing. A friend of mine crossed the street right in front of me. For some reason, I didn't honk (at him).

There isn't a general single word that you can use for this sense. You already mentioned the most common usage: get someone's attention.

Here is the Google Ngram result of the comparison of other similar usages (grab his attention, grip his attention, attract his attention, catch his attention, draw his attention, get his attention):

enter image description here

In the end, you can get his attention by doing different things like honking, waving, shouting, calling his name etc.

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  • Thanks for your answer. But I neither honked nor called nor waved nor said anything nor ... . I'm looking for a general term. Like notify but less formal. – Shah Oct 18 '14 at 3:24
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    @Shah: I know you didn't do anything. But honking could be the most efficient way to grab his attention. – ermanen Oct 18 '14 at 3:28
  • @Shah: I gave more details. There isn't a general single word that means to get someone's attention for this context. – ermanen Oct 18 '14 at 4:13

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