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Thread: continuously

  1. Junior Member
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    #1

    continuously

    Please check these sentences.
    I continuously worked on solving that problem.
    I continuously try improving my English knowledge.
    I continuously try to improve my English language skills.

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    #2

    Re: continuously

    Number 3 is okay. Number 2 is wrong because try has to be followed by an infinitive. Number 1 is unnatural; a more natural way to phrase it is I worked continuously on solving that problem.

    I can't explain why the adverb has to follow the verb in sentence 1 but works better before the verb in sentence 3. Perhaps one of our grammar experts can offer an explanation.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #3

    Re: continuously

    In the first sentence, continuously works better after worked as it's being used as an adverb of manner. Adverbs of manner fall nicely just after the verbs they modify. However, there's no grammatical reason they can't appear before the verb. In fact, this is often the case (but with a different effect).

    Regarding the third sentence, I don't think continuously is the best choice of adverb for this sentence, for two reasons. The first reason is the verb try. If we take continuously to mean 'non-stop', can we say that it is possible to try to improve English skills non-stop? Perhaps 'constantly' or 'continually' is a better choice? Secondly, the use of the present simple tense suggests that the verb is something that happens regularly or routinely, which, I think, conflicts with the normal usage of continuously. I suggest a better rephrasing to:

    I'm constantly trying to improve my English language skills.

    (My intuition of why the adverb sounds better before the verb here is that it is not functioning as a adverb of manner in exactly the same way as continuously is in the first sentence. It could be that it is working more like an adverb of frequency, similar to always or often. Single-word adverbs of frequency often appear before the verbs they modify.)

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    #4

    Re: continuously

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    Number 2 is wrong because try has to be followed by an infinitive.
    'Try' can actually be followed by a gerund or infinitive, although there's a difference in meaning.

    'Try' plus a gerund means to experiment with different methods to see what works.

    Try adding some more pepper to the stew.
    Try changing the battery and see if that helps.

    'Try' plus an infinitive means to attempt something but not actually be successful, or to ask someone to attempt something they may or may not be successful at.

    I tried to pass my driving test, but I failed.
    Try not to put any weight on your bad ankle.
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

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