(1)   Continue talking
"I know it's hard," he continued, "but there is no choice"
"Carry on--pretend we are not in the room"
(2)   Move ahead; travel onward in time or space
"We proceeded towards Washington"
"She continued in the direction of the hills"
"We are moving ahead in time now"
(3)   Allow to remain in a place or position
"We cannot continue several servants any longer"
"She retains a lawyer"
"The family's fortune waned and they could not keep their household staff"
"Our grant has run out and we cannot keep you on"
"We kept the work going as long as we could"
(4)   Keep or maintain in unaltered condition; cause to remain or last
"Preserve the peace in the family"
"Continue the family tradition"
"Carry on the old traditions"
(5)   Continue a certain state, condition, or activity
"Keep on working!"
"We continued to work into the night"
"Keep smiling"
"We went on working until well past midnight"
(6)   Span an interval of distance, space or time
"The war extended over five years"
"The period covered the turn of the century"
"My land extends over the hills on the horizon"
"This farm covers some 200 acres"
"The Archipelago continues for another 500 miles"


  1. to proceed with (doing an activity); to prolong (an activity).
    Shall I continue speaking, or will you just interrupt me again?
    Do you want me to continue to unload these boxes?
  2. To make last; to prolong.
    • 1621, Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, New York 2001, p. 74:
      Can you account him wise or discreet that would willingly have his health, and yet will do nothing that should procure or continue it?
  3. to resume
    When will the concert continue?

Usage notes

  • In the transitive sense, may be followed by either the present participle or the infinitive; hence use either "to continue writing" or "to continue to write".
  • As conveys the sense of progression, it is pleonastic to follow it with "on" (as in "Continue on with what you were doing").


carry on, go on with, keep, proceed with carry on, go on, proceed, resume

Related terms


  1. an option allowing a gamer to resume play after a game over.
  2. an option allowing a player to resume a saved game.


  1. first- and third-person singular indicative present of continuer
  2. first- and third-person singular subjunctive present of continuer
  3. second-person singular imperative of continuer