Which is correct?
A) I continually confuse continual and continuous.
B) I continuously confuse continual and continuous.
Well, that depends. When choosing between continual and continuous, you must consider the context. Do you occasionally forget which is which, or have you never been able to tell the difference? If it’s a recurring event, it’s continual (answer A). If it’s constant, it’s continuous (answer B). To remember, I associate the ending of “continual” with the ending of “annual,” which refers to a repeated occurrence (yearly).
Although many argue the two words mean the same thing, others disagree. AP and Chicago styles distinguish between them, and Merriam-Webster falls somewhere in the middle, categorizing them as synonyms but acknowledging their different implications.
I would like to thank my mom for asking whether I’d covered this topic yet—her continual suggestions and continuous support are greatly appreciated.