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When to Use Continuous and Continual

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Continuous and Continual sound very similar and hence are easily confused words. However, both words are pronounced differently. Furthermore, even though both are adjectives, there is a marked difference between continuous and continual.

Continuous is an adjective.
Meanings: nonstop; unbroken; incessant; uninterrupted.
Antonym: broken

Continual is an adjective.
Meanings: frequent; recurrent; repeated; repetitive.
Antonym: intermittent

Sample Usage

Examples of continuous:
1. A continuous chain of small fires kept the town's fire department on its toes.

2. The professor decided to take lectures on a continuous basis with only one short break in order to complete the syllabus.

3. The continuous snowfall hindered rescue operations.

Examples of continual:
1. Prakash's continual bad behaviour finally got him a suspension.

2. The continual occurrence of cracks in the building structure made it unsafe for the tenants.

3. The activist made continual appeals to the city's residents to join in the campaign to save the Tiger.

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