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If I have just been talking to my son on the phone (I'm not anymore. I have hung up.) and then someone asks me if it was my son whom I was talking to, to which I answer:

"Yes. I was just calling to say goodnight."

Is the past progressive tense ('I was just calling') the more natural tense to use here?

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It definitely works. If you had to choose between wording that sentence "I called to say goodnight" or "I was calling to say goodnight" I would certainly suggest sticking with "I was just calling to say goodnight." This flows and is more cohesive and casual, more natural, than the other two.

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