Is there a difference in meaning between the two? For example:

  1. Carry on the mission
  2. Carry on with the mission

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It really depends on the context, meaning, and message you are trying to convey.

"Carry on" IS the action.

I cannot believe the child would carry on like that in public.

"Carry on" on its own is a general command and is the same as "carry on with..."--one has less information and one has more.

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