‘Continuous’ and ‘continual’ sound very similar, but what’s the difference? And what do they each mean? We’ll cover that in this article, plus teach you how to pronounce both words and how to use them in a sentence correctly.
In short, the difference between the words is:
As you can see, these words mean different things, although they sound slightly the same. That means you should avoid using them interchangeably.
To use ‘continuous’ correctly, only use it when referring to something that’s going or continuing without interruption.
For example, you might say that you ran on the treadmill continuously for 30 minutes, meaning without stopping.
To use ‘continual’ correctly, only use it when referring to something that occurs regularly or frequently. Or it could also be something that implies a close, prolonged succession or recurrence.
For example, you might say that we’ve been in a continual war with foreign nations for decades.
According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of ‘continuous’ is marked by uninterrupted extension in space, time, or sequence.
A few synonyms of the word include:
The same dictionary defines ‘continual’ as continuing forever in time without interruption and repeated in steady, usually rapid succession.
Wondering how to pronounce these words? Here’s a short guide.
Now that you know how to pronounce the words and what they mean let’s see some examples of how to use them in a sentence correctly, starting with ‘continuous.’
Now let’s see some examples of how to use ‘continual.’
To recap, the difference between the words is:
The words sound similar but mean different things and, therefore, should not be used interchangeably.
If you ever get stuck on usage or meaning, you can always come back to refresh your memory. We’ve also got a ton of content on other confusing words and phrases you might come across while learning the language. Go check it out anytime.