I was calling you yesterday; you didn’t answer.


I called you yesterday but you didn’t answer.

  • 1
    To make this a good question you should include: What you think the answer should be, why you think that, and why you think this is a difficult problem.
    – James K
    May 27, 2019 at 6:46
  • Is "I tried calling you yesterday, but I didn't get an answer. " a valid sentence?
    – eKKiM
    May 27, 2019 at 9:41
  • Possible duplicate of what's the difference between did and was doing?
    – Aserre
    May 27, 2019 at 13:19

3 Answers 3


Both are grammatical, but a native speaker of US english would be far more likely to use the second form:

I called you yesterday, but you didn’t answer.

Other possible variants:

  • I called you yesterday, but no one answered.
  • I called you yesterday, but I didn't get an answer.

Perhaps because the activity of calling has been completed before the speaker is speaking, "I called" is much more common than "I was calling" is.

This Google Ngram shows that my empirical impression of frequency has a basis.


I would also add that "I was calling you yesterday" implies at least one attempt, whereas "I called..." suggests only one attempt.

  • 2
    "I called ..." suggests at least one attempt, but maybe more. And "I was calling you ..." could be followed up with: "but then I got interrupted and didn't complete."
    – MikeB
    May 27, 2019 at 10:02

You would usually say,

I called you yesterday, but you didn't answer.

Was calling would be something like :

I was calling yesterday but realized you were in a meeting. Or I was calling you yesterday when I got a call from my mom.

(a) I called. (b) I was calling...

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