Quick answer
"Continue" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "continuar", and "keep on" is a transitive verb phrase which is often translated as "dejar prendido". Learn more about the difference between "continue" and "keep on" below.
continue(
kuhn
-
tihn
-
yu
)
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to resume)
a. continuar
The students continued their work after recess.Los estudiantes continuaron con su trabajo después del recreo.
b. reanudar
Let's continue this conversation after lunch.Reanudemos esta conversación después del almuerzo.
2. (to remain)
a. seguir
The ladies continued talking all afternoon.Las señoras siguieron platicando toda la tarde.
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
3. (to resume)
a. continuar
The clinical trial will not continue after these problems.El ensayo clínico no continuará después de estos problemas.
4. (to remain)
a. seguir
The president of the United States will continue in office.El presidente de los Estados Unidos seguirá en su cargo.
5. (to extend)
a. continuar
The road continues through the mountains for another 100 km.El camino continúa por las montañas unos 100 km más.
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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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