Continually vs. continously

Discussion in 'English Only' started by rich7, Sep 19, 2005.

  1. rich7 Senior Member

    Venezuela español
    what's the difference between these two used as adjectives?
  2. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Continuing seems to relate best to events - and to events that are still occurring. The continuing protest against mention of Christmas before the end of November is now attracting media attention.

    Continuous seems to relate to objects, but may also be used for time-related things. The difference, for me, is that something that has now ended could have been continuous - for example, Grumpy might have been given a medal for 30 years continuous elvish service.
  3. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    To make things even more confusing, there's also continual.

    "Continuous" means "occurring uninterruptedly." It could also refer to objects.

    "Continual" means "occurring at (often regular) repeated intervals.:

    :warning: Many native speakers often confuse the two! :warning:

    "Continuing," as Panj explained, means "ongoing."
  4. lux86

    lux86 Member

    Supraśl, near Białystok
    Polish, Poland
    I'm asking for explaining a difference between those two.

    btw. sorry for making separate threads, but I'm coming across these confusing words for all day long :D

    Thank you!
  5. buddingtranslator

    buddingtranslator Senior Member

    English, England
    There isn't a lot of difference. If you could provide a context perhaps it would be easier to explain.

  6. lux86

    lux86 Member

    Supraśl, near Białystok
    Polish, Poland
    You asked for a context. The problem is that on my lectures I have to give a correct answer to sentences such as:

    I did very little work because of continual / continuous interruptions.

    I find it a bit confusing however I have to distinguish somehow :D

    thank you.
  7. shenley Member

    England living in France
    There is a slight difference, to my ear at any rate :
    "In my street, there is continual noise from the traffic" (= many noises)
    "He played a continuous note on the horn."(= a single prolonged note)
  8. lux86

    lux86 Member

    Supraśl, near Białystok
    Polish, Poland
    Thank you!
  9. river Senior Member

    U.S. English
    What is continual is intermittent or frequently repeated. Continuous never stops -- it's constant or uninterrupted.
  10. river Senior Member

    U.S. English
    continuous - uninterrupted action; continual - repeated, recurring at intervals.

Share This Page