To carry on
and To keep on
are synonyms when we ask for someone to continue a certain activity, condition or keep on a certain state.
The first phrasal verb is very common in the United Kingdom and it is used to mean "continue doing it"
, "go ahead"
The phrasal verb carry on
is widely used, not only by the British, but also on social networks by people all over the world. One example to testify that is the motivational poster Keep calm and carry on
produced by the British government in 1939 in preparation for World War II. Carry on
is used when you want to say to someone to continue talking if you interrupted him/her and it is considered more natural. Carry on
is usually just a command. When you see someone doing something you like, you say: Carry on!
. However, in a situation of danger or when we are complaining about someone's behavior, the use of keep on
is more natural.You’ll have an accident if you carry on driving like that.
You'll have an accident if you keep on
driving like that.
>> Você sofrerá um acidente se continuar / insistir em
dirigir dessa maneira.Carry on smoking and I'll see you in the hospital.Keep smoking
and I'll see you in the hospital.
>> Continue fumando
e eu te verei no hospital.
If she continues
drinking like that, I'll have to carry her home.
If she carries on
drinking like that, I'll have to carry her home.
>> Se ela continua
bebendo dessa maneira, eu terei que levá-la para casa dela.
If she keeps on
drinking like that, I'll see her in a hospital.
>> Se ela permanecer / insistir em
beber desse jeito, eu a verei no hospital.
with your work.Keep working!
= Keep on working!Go on with your work
.Proceed with your work
com seu(s) trabalho(s).
I'd just like to do some notes regarding to the phrasal verbs
. As a matter of word choice, sometimes, in order to make ourselves clear enough, some phrasal verbs
are better than others or they are commonly used in conversations.
A - To go on
[Although it is possible, we don't have to use it in the progressive tense.]
1. To continue or move to the next step; thing.
2. To continue behaving.
If you go on
like this, you won't have any friends left at all.
>> Se continuar se comportando
desse jeito, você não terá mais nenhum amigo.
We really can't go on
living like this - we'll have to find a bigger house.
>> Não podemos mais continuar (vivendo)
dessa maneira - nós teremos que encontrar uma casa maior.
B- I believe there is a very slightly difference between the phrasal verbs to carry on
and to keep on
and it is more noticed when we are using them with another verb which ends with -ing
. Regarding on the use of to keep (on) + verb ing
, here, we can also mean continue doing something without stopping
or doing it repeatedly
CARRY ON WITH X KEEP ON WITH X CARRY ON DOING X KEEP ON DOING
Steve just carried on playing on
>> Steve apenas continuou fuçando
[He carried on doing something
Steve just carried on to play on
>> Steve apenas continuou / prosseguiu para mexer / fuçar
no computador dele.
[He caused something to carry on his duties. Let's suppose he didn't want to go to school and preferred to stay home to play on his computer. Here,
we are presenting Steve's reasons to carrying on something. If we wanted to use the phrasal verb [i]kept on
in the sentence, there would be no problem[/i]].
Steve just kept (on) playing on
>> Steve apenas permaneceu fuçando
em seu computador.
>> Steve não parou de mexer
no computador dele.
[Here, we can find two different interpretations: (1) A synonym of [i]to carry on
or (2) Maybe Steve is addicted to computers[/i]. The second interpretation shows what I meant about the slightly difference].
C- To continue
is an standard and also formal verb we use in these sentences for the same thing.
Do you intend to continue (with) your studies?
Do you intend to carry on (with) your studies?
Do you intend to keep on (with) your studies?
>> Você planeja continuar (com) seus estudos?
Do you intend to continue studying?
Do you intend to carry on studying?
Do you intend to keep on studying?
>> Você planeja continuar estudando?
Do you intend to keep on studying
>> Você planeja estudar sem parar
_To carry on
A) To conduct; maintain
: carry on a thriving business.
>> Realizar; manter
: manter um negócio próspero.
B) To engage in something
: carry on a love affair.
>> Envolver-se em algo; dedicar-se a algo
: envolver-se em um caso amoroso.
C) To continue without halting; persevere
: carry on in the face of disaster.
>> Continuar sem interrupções; perseverar
: perseverar diante de um disastre.
D) To behave in an excited, improper, or silly manner
>> Comportar-se de maneira empolgada, imprópria ou tola
E) to cause a fuss or commotion. [BrE informal
>> causar uma bagunça ou comoção.Cf
_To keep on
A) to keep (on) doing sth
>> continuar fazendo algoKeep trying
= Keep on trying
>> Continue tentando.
B) referente a ações repetidas
He keeps hitting
>> Ele fica batendo
I keep forgetting
to mail this letter.
>> Nunca me lembro de pôr esta carta no correio.
C) to keep on about something
Meaning: [to continue talking about something in a way that annoys people].
>> não parar de falar de algo.
I don’t know why you keep on about
>> Não sei porque você não para de falar
>> Não sei porque você continua falando
>> Não sei porque você insiste em falar
D) to keep on at somebody (about something)
>> ficar em cima de alguém (sobre algo).
Let's check some sentences:
(just) interrupted you. Please carry on
(just) interrupted you. Please continue
>> Desculpe! Eu interrompi você. Por favor, continue
>> Desculpe! (Acabei de) interromper você. Por favor, continue.
Pardon me for interrupting you. Please, do continue
>> Peço desculpas! Perdoe-me pela interrupção. Peço que prossiga / continue
Politicians can carry on
smoking as they dodge their own ban.
>> Políticos podem continuar
fumando enquanto evitam sua própria proibição / banalização.
I want to carry on (with)
>> Quero continuar (com) / prosseguir (com)
I want to keep on (with) my course.
>> Quero insistir (com)
He stopped and looked back, then carried on
down the stairs.
>> Ele parou e olhou para trás, então prosseguiu
descendo as escadas.
You just have to keep on
>> Você tem apenas que continuar
SEPARABLE AND NON-SEPARABLE PHRASAL VERBSTo carry on
is an inseparable phrasal verb.To keep on
is an intransitive phrasal verb.
Cf.: https://quizlet.com/251170265/intransitive-phrasal-verbs-flash-cards/To keep somebody on
[transitive phrasal verb
- to continue to employ someone.
>> manter alguém empregado / no emprego
If you’re good, they might keep you on
Se você for bom(boa), eles poderão manter você contratado(a)
após o Natal.
I hope we've helped.
Enjoy your studies!
(3) ADGER, D. Core syntax: A minimalist approach
. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. 2003.
(4) Pearson Education. Longman Dictionary. 2nd ed. 2009.
(5) TALLERMAN, M. Understanding syntax
. London: Arnold, 1998.