Hello I have a student that asked me this question.

I mentioned that the "continue to" + verb focuses on the verb but "continue the" focuses on the noun phrase to follow. Is that correct?

  • 5
    Please provide context. Give at least one complete sentence for each use. Apr 29, 2020 at 20:13
  • I’m voting to close this question because there's no meaningful context Aug 27, 2023 at 16:27

1 Answer 1


Both are very similar. When you say "continue to," that can mean different things. You can put an infinitive after it, and "continue" will act as a transitive verb. "I continued to mow the lawn."

But you can also use "continue to" as an intransitive verb, where you might say something like this: "Many of the traditions continue to this day."

For "continue the," it will usually just be used as a transitive verb as well, just with a noun after it. "I will continue the process."

Both of them are just ways to use the verb "continue." I guess you can say that a difference between them is that "continue the" will be transitive, and "continue to" will be transitive or intransitive. If you say "continue the" it will usually be followed by a noun phrase, but saying "continue to" relates to verbs is ambiguous.

  • 1
    I think this answer is misleading and unhelpful. Neither continue to nor continue the is a syntactic component: they are just sequences of words. Continue can be a transitive verb, in which case it is followed by a noun phrase (which might happen to start with the) or a non-finite clause (which could be an infinitival clause which starts with to). When it is an intransitive verb it can take a prepositional phrase as a complement, often starting with to.
    – Colin Fine
    Apr 17, 2022 at 8:58

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