Writing for Business - A Whatis.com Blog

Aug 19 2009   1:11PM GMT

Continuous or continual?

Posted by: Ivy Wigmore
Business writing
commonly confused words
continual or continuous
typing Which is correct?
The breach attempts were apparently random but _______.
a. continuous
b. continual

Answer: b

Explanation: Something that’s unbroken or unceasing is continuous; something that’s intermittent but persistent is continual.

Here’s an example from Richard Norquist on About.com:

Merdine grew accustomed to the continuous hum of the power line. It was far less annoying than Gus’s continual requests for money.

If Gus’ requests for money were continuous, he would have no time to spend his cash.

Here’s another question about continual and continuous.

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