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Continually and continuously

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By Mary Morel

In informal conversation, continually and continuously are used interchangeably, but they are subtly different in meaning.


Continually means either always going on, or recurring at short intervals and never coming to an end.

He is continually biting his nails.


Continuously means ongoing action with no breaks.

He cried continuously throughout the show.
The baby cried continuously while her mother was away.

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