“Continually” or “Continuously?”

Should I Use “Continually” or “Continuously?”

Some people use the words continually and continuously interchangeably, but the two words have slightly different meanings. Compare the two sentences below:

“It has been raining continually this summer.”

“It has been raining continuously this summer.”

The first of these two sentences, which uses continually, means that it has been raining all summer, though there have been some breaks between rainfalls. Perhaps it rained for a day, then was sunny for a day, then rained for another day, then was sunny for another, and so on.

The second sentence, which uses continuously, means that since it began raining this summer, the rain has not stopped for even a moment.

Jake Magnum, author of the Magnum Proofreading Tips blog, is dedicated to helping writers perfect their work. In addition to giving free advice on his blog, Jake helps writers by offering very affordable proofreading services at magnumproofreading.com.

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