A discussion arose about whether one could substitute ongoing availability with continuing availability and what the difference would be, if any. Actually, my gut feeling told me it should've been continued availability instead of continuing.

This made me wonder: are these two exchangeable as well? Is there any subtle difference in meaning that I'm missing? continuing availability just sounds wrong, but I can't seem to put my finger on it as to why.

2 Answers 2


There is a slight difference between the two.

Use continued when you are speaking about availability that has persisted up till a point in time (e.g., now) but may not persist past it.

Use continuing when you are speaking about availability that will persist into the future.

  • 2
    Not so fast, Magnus! Robusto's claim does not hold for me. The two phrases are indistinguishable. I can't think of a context in which choosing one over the other makes any semantic difference. This example needs continued/ing consideration. Jan 16, 2013 at 23:20
  • Well, my belly says he's got a point, but if someone has a better explanation I'm all ears...
    – Magnus
    Jan 17, 2013 at 6:21
  • What about continuous? Would you say "the continouos increment of... has produced..." or continuing or what?
    – skan
    Dec 7, 2018 at 0:30

"Continuing" is the effort make whatever ongoing into the future but may stop any time and for any reason, "continued" refers to picking up where is left and not moving forward and you make it move and keep it going.

  • I think Robusto's answer is closer to the mark than yours. Consider the phrase, "the United States' continued/continuing involvement in Afghanistan." It seems to me that the implication of continued is "not yet ended," with a hint that the persistence of the involvement goes against expectations. In contrast, continuing seems to me to be a neutral way of saying simply "ongoing." I don't see continued (as you seem to) as being, under normal circumstances, a synonym for resumed.
    – Sven Yargs
    Mar 23, 2016 at 22:13
  • The sense of "being' is there but in the shadow. The word 'continued' says it all, although the involvement goes against 'expectation', it is continued to be doing what they had been doing. You can even see the action being displayed in the word 'continued'; it brings you to the battle field you haven't been. It's 'being' as close as you can get. It is how I feel about it. Thanks for your comment on my post Sven Yargs -- Roger Chang Mar 23, 2016 at 23:13

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