Quick answer
"Carry on" is a transitive verb phrase which is often translated as "continuar con", and "keep on" is a transitive verb phrase which is often translated as "dejar prendido". Learn more about the difference between "carry on" and "keep on" below.
carry on(
kah
-
ri
 
an
)
A transitive verb phrase is a phrase that combines a verb with a preposition or other particle and requires a direct object (e.g. Take out the trash.).
transitive verb phrase
1. (to sustain)
a. continuar con
Why do we carry on the tradition of eating unleavened bread on Passover?¿Por qué continuamos con la tradición de comer el pan ácimo durante la Pascua?
b. seguir con
If you carry on this type of behavior, you will get detention.Si sigues con este tipo de comportamiento, te van a castigar.
2. (to proceed with)
a. mantener
We carried on our conversation on the bus after we got off the plane.Mantuvimos nuestra conversación en el autobús después de bajarnos del avión.
An intransitive verb phrase is a phrase that combines a verb with a preposition or other particle and does not require a direct object (e.g. Everybody please stand up.).
intransitive verb phrase
3. (to continue)
a. seguir
Please carry on with your work and don't let me disturb you.Por favor, sigue con tu trabajo y no me dejes molestarte.
b. continuar
If we don't make some changes, these issues will carry on forever.Si no hacemos unos cambios, estos problemas continuarán para siempre.
4.
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
(to behave badly)
a. hacer trastadas
Because he kept carrying on in class, the teacher sent him to the principal's office.Como no dejaba de hacer trastadas en clase, el profesor le mandó a la oficina del director.
b. hacer un escándalo
I understand that you're upset, but please, stop carrying on.Entiendo que estés molesto, pero, por favor, deja de hacer un escándalo.
5.
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
(to have an affair)
a. tener un lío
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
When his wife found out he'd been carrying on for years, she asked him for a divorce.Cuando su mujer se enteró de que había tenido un lío por años, le pidió el divorcio.
b. tener una movida
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
Regionalism used in Mexico
(Mexico)
Everybody knows they've been carrying on, but nobody will tell her husband.Todos saben que han tenido una movida, pero nadie se lo dirá a su esposo.
c. tener un asunto
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
(River Plate)
I carried on for years before deciding that I'd rather be single.Tuve un asunto por años antes de decidir que prefería estar soltero.
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keep on
A transitive verb phrase is a phrase that combines a verb with a preposition or other particle and requires a direct object (e.g. Take out the trash.).
transitive verb phrase
1. (to not turn off)
a. dejar prendido
Regionalism used in Latin America: all the countries in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Does not include Spain.
(Latin America)
We'll be asleep by the time you get home, but we'll keep a light on for you.Estaremos dormidos cuando llegues a casa, pero te dejaremos una luz prendida.
b. dejar encendido
It drives me nuts that my family keeps the TV on all day.Me vuelve loco que mi familia deja la tele encendida todo el día.
2. (clothing)
a. dejarse puesto
"You can keep your socks and underpants on," said the doctor."Puede dejarse puestos los calcetines y los calzoncillos", dijo el doctor.
b. no quitarse
You should keep your jacket on; we're going right back out again.No deberías quitarte la chaqueta; ahorita vamos a volver a salir.
3. (to not fire)
a. seguir empleando
They decided not to keep Albert on after his violation of the confidentiality agreement.Decidieron no seguir empleando a Albert después de la violación al acuerdo de confidencialidad.
4. (to do something continuously)
a. seguir
Lourdes didn't take the hint, so she just kept on talking for another 45 minutes.Lourdes no entendió la indirecta, así que siguió hablando durante otros 45 minutos.
b. continuar
If it keeps on raining, the levee might break.Si continua lloviendo, el dique podría romperse.
5. (to do many times)
a. no dejar de
Vicky is getting annoyed that Diego keeps on asking her out every time he sees her.Vicky se está fastidiando de que Diego no deja de invitarla a salir cada vez que la ve.
An intransitive verb phrase is a phrase that combines a verb with a preposition or other particle and does not require a direct object (e.g. Everybody please stand up.).
intransitive verb phrase
6. (to talk a lot)
a. no parar de hablar
Lorena kept on about her many accomplishments as if we didn't already know.Lorena no paraba de hablar de sus muchos logros como si no lo supiéramos ya.
b. no hacer más que hablar
Alicia gets a bit annoying when her friend keeps on about how wonderful her son is.Alicia se vuelve un poco fastidiosa cuando su amiga no hace más que hablar de lo maravilloso que es su hijo.
7. (to insist)
a. insistir sobre
My boss is always keeping on about our deadlines.Mi jefe siempre está insistiendo sobre nuestros plazos.
8. (to nag)
a. seguir machacando
My parents kept on about me going to law school until I gave in.Mis padres me siguieron machacando para que ingresara a la facultad de derecho hasta que cedí.
b. dar lata
Why do you have to keep on at me about my grades, Mom? I'm working as hard as I can.¿Por qué tienes que darme lata sobre mis calificaciones, mamá? Estoy haciendo lo mejor que puedo.
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