Continually or continuously – which form is correct?

Continually or continuously? As a matter of fact, both continually and continuously are correct, but they ought to be used in different situations. Their distinction does not facilitate the fact that they look and sound alike. Both adverbs refer to the frequency or duration of an activity, but they cannot be used interchangeably. Since both continually and continuously are in use, it is necessary to explain their differences in meaning.

Continually or continuously? Which form is correct meaning definition correct form examples

Continually or continuously? What does continually mean, and when do we use it?

The adverb continually refers to an activity that happens repeatedly and, very often, is annoying.

What are the synonyms for the word continually?

There are many adverbs with synonymous meanings to the word continually. Among them are:

  • regularly,
  • repeatedly,
  • again and again,
  • constantly.

Continually or continuously? What does continuously mean, and when do we use it?

The adverb continuously is used while explaining that a certain activity is performed without any interruptions or pauses. It does not indicate that the task is recurrent.

What are the synonyms for the word continuously?

  • Uninterruptedly,
  • ceaselessly,
  • unendingly.

Continually or continuously? Now it is all clear! Examples from literature


Notwithstanding which, Tibeats was never satisfied. He was continually cursing and complaining.

Salomon Northup, Twelve Years a Slave

Dudley had spent most of the summer in the kitchen, his piggy little eyes fixed on the screen and his five chins wobbling as he ate continually.

J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban


They chatter so continuously that I barely have to reply, which is good, since I don’t feel very talkative.

Susan Collins, The Hunger Games

I heard the rain still beating continuously on the staircase window, and the wind howling in the grove behind the hall; I grew by degrees cold as a stone, and then my courage sank.

Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

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Student of Applied Linguistics at the University of Warsaw. Enthusiast of books, movies, and music. In her free time, she rides a bike, swims, and goes for walks. In the future, she dreams of a career as a translator.