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  Tips for Writers by Brad Hyde (January 22, 2008)

Continuous or Continual Rain?

Although very close in meaning, continuous and continual do not mean exactly the same thing. To really describe Vancouver's rain properly, learn the difference.

Continuous means "continuing without changing, stopping, or being interrupted in space or time" whereas continual means "happening again and again, especially regularly." (both definitions from Encarta Online Dictionary)

The continuous rain, falling for 36 hours, made me go crazy!

In Vancouver, it rains continually during the fall, winter and spring. In fact, sometimes, we have continual rain in the summer, too!

Note that the same rules of meaning apply to the adverb forms: continuously and continually.

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