Difference between Continuous and Continual | Continual vs Continuous

What is the Difference between Continuous vs. Continual?

Many people find it difficult to tell the difference between the two words ‘continuous’ and ‘continual.’ This is due to the fact that the difference between them is rather subtle. In this article, we shall understand how these two terms differ from each other, and explore examples supporting the same.

In this article,

English grammar may not be so easy to learn and perfect, but it is important. It is necessary for people to be grammatically correct in their writing. Poor grammar can hinder self-expression and cause communication difficulties. As we progress in our society, we need to make sure we communicate effectively and without any impediments. This is very true in today’s society, especially in the business world where organizations are more focused on what you say rather than how you say it. Some may also consider good English grammar to be a reflection of a person’s intellect, education and work ethic.

Table Summarising the Difference between Continuous and Continual

The following table provides an overview of the difference between continuous vs. continual.




‘Continuous’ and ‘continual’ are adjectives


The word ‘continuous’ refers to something that happens without interrupting or ceasing.

‘Continual’ refers to something that recurs frequently or regularly.


A loud and continuous whirring sound was heard just moments before the explosion.

The wolf’s continual howling echoed through the forest.

The Meaning of Continuous and Continual

  • Continuous meaning – ‘Continuous’ refers to something that happens without ever ceasing or being interrupted.
  • Continual meaning – ‘Continual’ refers to something that recurs frequently or regularly.

Examples for Continual and Continuous

We shall explore some examples.

  • Continuous – Without a continuous supply of oxygen to the brain, cells would start dying, and may result in permanent brain damage.
  • Continual – The continual banging of the shutters kept Joan awake.

Continuous vs. Continual – Conclusion

Grammar is complex. There are so many nuances to word choice, sentence structure, and the flow of a document that it can be difficult for most people to write something that sounds natural. Regardless, proficiency comes with adequate practice and also a willingness to learn. In this article, we learnt the difference between continuous and continual, its usage and examples.

Explore more differences between Continuous and Continual or discover other important concepts on grammar, only on BYJU’S.

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