Continual or Continuous

The difference between CONTINUAL & CONTINUOUS

CONTINUAL refers to something that frequently recurs.  If your neighbor stands by your mail box every now and then and picks his nose, over a period of a month, if he does it once a week, you would say that he continually annoys you.

CONTINUOUS refers to something that keeps happening without interruption, eg. if your neighbor stands by your mail box 24/7 for three days, you would say that your neighbor continuously annoys you (by standing next to the mail box & picking his nose).

There are English words that carry active meanings, but depending on the noun or adjective used in conjunction with it, the word itself is either positive or negative….and sometimes it’s a spectrum.

For instance, Pique. verb. to irritate, to offend, to excite, to provoke, as in “piqued my curiosity.”  Does that phrase mean to “provoke my curiosity”?  Yes.  Does it mean “irritate” or “offend my curiosity”?  Technically yes and no.  The word irritate doesn’t always mean to annoy.  It means to stir, to arouse or to stimulate, but in a somewhat bad way, eg. “Shelley absentmindedly irritated my sinuses when she patted the attic-born blanket.”

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