The basic verbs in Japanese which mean "to continue" are 続く (intransitive 五段 verb) and 続ける (transitive 一段 verb) respectively. These words are heavily used and may also function as supplementary endings, which will be a major focus of this lesson.
We'll first exam the basic meanings of both verbs and important synonyms, after which point we'll discuss various grammar points utilizing said verbs and more similar phrases. Once we've cleared those hurtles, we'll talk about the grammar behind ～続ける and how this fits into Japanese grammar in totality.
The verb 続く is an intransitive verb with the primary meaning of "to continue," describing how the same event remains persistent. It also has various other nuances such as describing a condition that is uninterrupted, similar events happening in succession of each other, etc.
Particle Note: The particle が is used if the subject is what is in the state of continuation while the particle に is used if 続く describes a succession of action or situation.
Though they say summer is also around the corner, rainy days continue.
Active volcanic activity continues.
Rows of houses continue down both sides of this road.
A tsunami occurred following the earthquake.
Aftershocks are continuing as of yet, and you can't even sense when things will return back to normal.
As you know, it's no wonder that the president and the vice president who follows are at the level where they are unable to answer even simple questions from reporters if they don't have prepared answers.
Phrase Note: 続く may mean "to succeed" in terms of rank.
Let's travel together along the road to Rome!
Phrase Note: When 続く means "to lead to," it may be used with either に or へ, with the difference based on how spatially distant the destination is--far off destinations being more fitting for へ.
Even if you go through all the trouble to pass, tuition isn't covered.
Phrase Note: 続く may mean "to keep up (with)" in reference to money flow.
As for the omicron variant, although we don't know how far infection will spread, we believe it will likely last for the meantime.
The transitive verb 続ける has the primary meaning of "to continue" some current/ongoing action. It may also mean "to keep on doing (consistently/habitually)." This is a transitive verb, so the action being done has an active agent, and the direct object is, thus, marked by the particle を．
Are you properly continuing with exercise and dietary restrictions?
I'm continuing with English conversation.
Please continue with your work.
You may have moments where you feel bitter from repeating failure.
For starters, there's no meaning to studying if you don't continue doing it every day.
I want to continue doing this job.
続ける may also occasionally be used with the meaning of "to link things together." For instance, say you're designing an apartment space and want to link the living area and kitchen area as one room.
I had the living and kitchen put together as one room.
At last, we have come to the grammar point of most importance in this lesson. To create expressions like "to continue singing," "to continue watching," etc., you attach ～続ける to the 連用形 of a verb. This ending attaches to both intransitive and transitive verbs alike, and it is also indiscriminate when it comes to verbs of volition and non-volition. Thus, it can describe phenomena continuing just as much as it can describe continued action.
Intransitive ＋ ～続ける
Transitive ＋ ～続ける
降り続ける (to continue falling)
やり続ける (to continue doing)
(to continue falling)
鳴り続ける (to continue ringing)
歌い続ける (to continue singing)
(to continue for a long time)
燃え続ける (to continue burning)
建て続ける (to continue building)
であり続ける＊ (to continue being)
見続ける(to continue watching)
Before looking at typical sentences, let's go over the abnormalities noted in the chart.
Firstly, you'll see that there are three examples of ～続く. Of these, 打ち続く and 引き続く are both viewed as emphatic versions of 続く. Meaning, rather than viewing them as a combination of ～続く with the verbs 打つ and 引く, those morphemes are acting instead as prefixes rather than functioning with their literal meanings. It must be noted that both emphatic forms are restricted to literary language.
Due to the prolonged spell of rain, floods are occurring everywhere.
If taking into account conditions in which a severe economic depression continues even hereafter, it is expected that city tax revenue will decrease further.
As for 降り続く, however, this is truly one of a kind. It is the only example of ～続く functioning as a true supplementary verb. What's even more interesting is how it is used interchangeably with 降り続ける with no change in meaning. Although it is not as common as 降り続ける, the rate of use is still at a 40/60 ratio, a really high rate for being irregular. You will hear both forms used heavily in weather reports and everyday language.
44. 雨・雪が降り【続いている 〇・続けている ◎】。
It continues to rain/snow.
If ～続ける can attach to any intransitive verb, it would only make sense for it to also attach to the copula. In which case, it attaches to である, which in turn can be used with true nouns and adjectival nouns.
Cats simply remain as cats.
I want to remain free forever.
To attach ～続ける to adjectives, ある must follow the 連用形 of an adjective, resulting in ～くあり続ける．
I want to continue/stay being beautiful.
Such examples are not so common, though, and are overshadowed by ～ままで(ある・いる) , with the choice between ある or いる being decided on whether the adjective strongly depicts the speaker's want (→ いる) or is simply describing an unchanged state (→ ある)．
Unpopular Pokemon ought to remain weak.
With the complicated details out of the way, it's time to see examples of ～続ける with all kinds of verbs. Since this grammar is used so heavily, you will continue to encounter it on a daily basis.
Please continue studying Japanese.
Full-fledged adults who don't continue learning won't make it.
If you don't continue pressing the key for several seconds, you won't be able to type the character.
I continued walking up to my boyfriend's house.
Dialect Note: ～んち is a dialectal equivalent of ～の家 that is commonly used in casual speech by people predominantly from Eastern Japan.
The phone continued ringing.
Hachiko waited day after day for his master to return.
Culture Note: ハチ公 is a dog that was so loyal to his master, it waited for him to return at the station even after the owner's death.
The baby was continuing to sleep soundly.
As is the case with any supplementary verb, there is always going to be a way around using it grammatically speaking. To use 続ける, all you need is a subject and an object, and nominalizing a verb phrase for the object works. How, though, does circumventing "連用形＋続ける" affect nuancing?
First, let's visualize the problem with two parallel verb phrases.
i. ～を見るのを続ける (to continue watching)
ii. ～を見続ける (to continue watching)
There is no perfect way to distinguish these structures in standalone translations, so let's see some contexts.
Are you still watching TV?
In this sentence, the agent is actively watching TV. In this situation, ～のを続ける is NEVER appropriate.
Decide whether you will stop watching or continue watching TV.
As for Ex. 57, maintaining grammatical parallelism is a major factor behind ～のを続ける. As やめる cannot function as a supplementary verb and is stated first, it forces the second verb, which happens to be 続ける, to not be paired with the verb that's nominalized. On semantic grounds, Ex. 57 is about habit and not literal continuous action. This is a prerequisite to using ～のを続ける; however, "連用形＋続ける" may also denote habitual behavior as is demonstrated by Ex. 58.
Continue watching TV or stop (watching) it, which do you choose?
When given the opportunity, "連用形＋続ける" reigns supreme. Furthermore, grammatical parallelism is actually maintained if one views 見続ける as its own unique verb as テレビをやめる can be interpreted as "to stop watching TV" without any problem.
So, how would a sentence need to be constructed to only allow for ～のを続ける? Unfortunately, grammatical instances such as Ex. 57 involving an intervening opposing structure would be the only context in which either route couldn't coexist as "連用形＋続ける" is capable of expressing habit just as much as it can real-time continuous action.
If you were to impose using ～のを続ける with lengthy nominalized verb phrases, you'd be opening the possibility for substituting the long phrase altogether with a simple sentence equivalent.
If you continue chewing with just (the teeth) on one side, your jaw will become bent.
If you continue to chew with just (the teeth) on one side, this will become the cause of jaw disfigurement.
If you continue chewing on one side, this will become the cause of jaw disfigurement.
If you continue one-sided mastication, this will become the cause of jaw disfigurement.
59a starts off with a description akin to typical conversation and/or layman's talk. Then, we jump to 59b which has ～のを続ける imposed on it. Though the sentence is not ungrammatical, by trying to become more technical sounding in describing the habit at hand, opting for jargon as seen in 59c and 59d would be more logical.
If transitive and intransitive verbs can be nominalized, it would make sense for there to be situations in which ～のが続く is possible. Although "連用形＋続く" doesn't functionally exist, ～が続く does, so we just need to know which nominalized intransitive verb phrases go with it. First off, verbs used with ～のが続く CANNOT express volition. Unchanging situations, negative statements, passive statements, etc. fit this bill.
This countermeasure will likely continue to not change.
61. 【吐くのが続く 〇・吐き続ける ◎】と、身体に負担がかかってしまう。
If [coughing continues/you continue to cough], that'll put strain on the body.
62. じっと【見られるのが続く 〇 ・見られ続ける 〇・見られていると ◎】とムカついてくる。
I get irritated if I keep being stared at.
63. 認められない【のが続く 〇・ままだ ◎」と、気持ちが「どうせだめだ」と落ち着いてしまう。
If you remain unable to accept (the situation), your feelings will settle on thinking "it's no use."
As these examples demonstrate, other routes will usually be more natural/common than ～のが続く.
In Ex. 62 we see that ～続ける can be used with passive expressions, which is actually quite common. It is also possible to see it used with the causative-passive (Ex. 66).
Why does Lego remain loved around the world?
The world's forest continue being destroyed due to development.
I'm still being annihilated by the first enemy when you enter the dungeon!
To add to the grammar we've already learned about, we'll look at examples of 立て続けに and 続けざまに, which are synonymous phrases meaning "one after another." Between the two, 立て続けに is more appropriate for describing separate instances of the same phenomenon occurring whereas 続けざまに is more appropriate for implying that the same action/situation spans several instances in rapid succession of each other. Even with these definitions, there is significant overlap.
The player demonstrated himself hitting the balls [in quick succession/in rapid fire].
Murder cases are occurring one after another around this area.
The assailant chopped down people one after another.
Although the frequency isn't much, they say that there are instances of being infected in quick succession.