Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14
  1. #1
    pinkie9 is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    241
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default continuous / continual / continued

    1. Thank you for your continuous / continual / continued support.
    2. Your continuous / continual / continued will be greatly appreciated.

    For the above two sentences, which of continuous / continual / continued is the most appropriate when used in a business letter?
    Could anyone please tell me the difference?

  2. #2
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,168
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: continuous / continual / continued

    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  3. #3
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    17,105
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: continuous / continual / continued

    The description of synonyms here has been useful for me: Continual - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  4. #4
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    15,473
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: continuous / continual / continued

    And while you're at it, why not consider another option - 'continuing'? In my experience, this is usuallly heard in reference to a 3rd party helper. It means 'They have always helped in the past, and it would be reasonable to assume that they'll continue. That's the assumption we make, and we're grateful to be able to do that.'

    Example: And finally I'd like to thank Mr and Mrs N for their continuing support. It's a great relief to know that we can always rely on them.

    b

  5. #5
    pinkie9 is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    241
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: continuous / continual / continued

    Thank you everyone. I did try dictionaries before and after I posted the question, but I'm still not clear.
    I do understand that "continuous" means without a pause or interruption and "continual" means happening repeatedly, usually in an annoying or not convenient way.But some dictionaries says "continual" also means continuing for a long time without stopping, which is very similar to the meaning of "continous". (e.g. Longman: continual - Definition from Longman English Dictionary Online )
    That's where it's confusing to me.

    Also, dictionaries don't tell which one native speakers use and don't use in the above situations and I still would like to ask that. (BobK suggested to use "continuing", and I understand it. But I'd like to know about other three choices. If "continued support" is the best choice, is each of "continuous support", "continual support" and "continued support" acceptable? Or do they sound awkward (or are they even wrong)?

  6. #6
    TheParser is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    4,913
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: continuous / continual / continued

    [QUOTE=pinkie9;840024]1. Thank you for your continuous / continual / continued support.


    NOT A TEACHER


    (1) May I respectfully suggest that you go to the "books" section of Google and

    type in "Thank you for your continued/continuing support."

    (2) After reading several dozen results, you will start to get a "feeling" of how

    native writers use those two words.

    (3) It appears that if you are ever in doubt, you will always be "safe" with

    "continued support."

    (a) I got this from the reliable Macmilllan Dictionary (Web):

    We thank our customers for their continued support. = done regularly.

    (4) Here is my "feeling." I could be absolutely wrong:

    Thank you for your continued support. = You have just sent us $100. We thank you.

    We hope that this support will continue on a regular basis.

    Thank you for your continuing support. = You have just sent us $100. We thank you.

    We expect you to continue this support on a regular basis.

  7. #7
    SoothingDave is online now VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    9,481
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: continuous / continual / continued

    I do understand that "continuous" means without a pause or interruption and "continual" means happening repeatedly, usually in an annoying or not convenient way.
    I don't know that something that is "continual" needs to be annoying.

    I do know that I would say I eat roast beef sandwiches continually. To eat them continuously would be to never stop eating!

  8. #8
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    17,105
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: continuous / continual / continued

    The Parser's suggestion is a good one.

    The short answer is that if it were my letter, I'd go with Bob and use "continuing," but of your choices, I'd go with "continued."
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  9. #9
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    15,473
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: continuous / continual / continued

    Quote Originally Posted by pinkie9 View Post
    ... (BobK suggested to use "continuing", and I understand it. But I'd like to know about other three choices. If "continued support" is the best choice, is each of "continuous support", "continual support" and "continued support" acceptable? Or do they sound awkward (or are they even wrong)
    Just to clarify: I wasn't saying 'it's better to use "continuing"'. I was just saying that 'continuing' was worth considering in some cases.

    Very roughly:
    • continual implies intermittent or sopradic or regular. It can often be annoying, but that's not intrinsic to the meaning. However. if I say 'I'm tired of your continual questions' (which I'm not, by the way ) you can assume that my annoyance comes from your persistence.
    • continuous is not interrupted
    • continued and continuing have the expected (participial) meanings


    But there's a lot of overlap in many contexts, and a lot of imprecision - I'm afraid the distinction between 'continual' and 'continuous' is being eroded (as your Longmans quote shows) That's no shame on Longmans, it's just a recognition of the way the words are used.

    b

  10. #10
    pinkie9 is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    241
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: continuous / continual / continued

    Thank you so much again, everyone.
    I read everyone's posts many times and tried Google Books as TheParser kindly suggested. I think I'm beginning to understand, but I'll keep on working on this.

    Let me just confirm one thing.
    Are all of the following sentences acceptable?

    A-1 Thank you for your continuous support.
    A-2 Thank you for your continual support.
    A-3 Thank you for your continued support.
    A-4 Thank you for your continuing support.
    B-1 Your continuous support will be greatly appreciated.
    B-2 Your continual support will be greatly appreciated.
    B-3 Your continued support will be greatly appreciated.
    B-4 Your continuing support will be greatly appreciated.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. [Grammar] continuous and continual
    By areev in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 13-Apr-2010, 12:41
  2. continued/continuous
    By mylevt in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 26-Jun-2008, 07:37
  3. continual&continuous
    By cutemina1211 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 12-Jun-2007, 00:23
  4. "continual, continous, or continued?"
    By paula in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 17-Apr-2006, 11:20
  5. Continued? Continual? Continuous?
    By iamwkk in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-Apr-2005, 16:35

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •