English language is not so easy to learn because there are hundreds of confusing words in English vocabulary. Sometimes, I got irritated while choosing the correct word for a sentence. Like always, I am going to discuss two such words that sound confusing for writers and speakers.
In this post, I will compare continually vs. continuously. So, continue reading the whole post to check out the definition of each of these words with some interesting example sentences.
Continually vs. Continuously – What is the Difference, Definition & Meaning?
Is it continually or continuously?
You can notice that the pronunciations of both of these words are quite similar. This is one of the reasons for the confusion between them. Apart from the pronunciation, their meanings are also very close to each other. Even, most of the people say that continually and continuously can be used interchangeably.
However, you should not think that these words can mean same because there is a difference that has to be understood.
Check out the following definitions of each of these words.
Continually is used as an adverb within a sentence. Its adjective form is continual. Both describe duration.
It can be used for the things that happen frequently or repeatedly within short time period.
1. I continually update my page to grow up my online business.
2. The department is also planning a new concept for intersections aimed at accommodating higher traffic volume and creating continual flow of traffic. (KTVB.COM)
Continuously is also used as an adverb within a sentence. Its adjective form is continuous. Just like continually and continual, continuously and continuous also describe duration.
It can be used for the things that happen without any interruption i.e. there should be no gap in between the events.
1. She was continuously looking at the door and after some time, she started crying.
2. Fitbit today announced the Fitbit Alta HR, which the company is calling the “world’s slimmest fitness wristband” that has a continuous heart rate monitor. (Mac Rumors)
Got the Difference?
I know that these words are still making confusion. If it is making trouble then, just remember that continually (continual) can have breaks or interruptions between events, but they keep happening after the breaks.
Continuously (continuous), on the other hand, does not afford any interruption between events. They are constant. For instant, in the above example (1), she was continuously looking at the door… it means that she did not take any break while her stare. She was constantly looking at the door.
It is concluded that continually and continuously are not interchangeable. It is important to keep them apart as, there is a difference in terms of their meanings. Both are used as adverbs within sentences.
Continually is used to describe things (i.e. events) that happen frequently but there can be a break between them.
Continuously is used to describe things (i.e. events) that happen without any interruption or more likely to say with no breaks.