Definition of continuative in English:


Pronunciation /kənˈtinyo͝oədiv/ /kənˈtɪnjʊədɪv/


  • (of a word or phrase) having the function of moving a discourse or conversation forward.

    ‘Maybe, even, he was using the V-ing form to indicate a semantic subtlety - perhaps the continuative sense associated with progressive V-ing forms - that I didn't get.’
    • ‘Note that there is no preposition expressing 'at'--the continuative pronouns include the notion 'at, in, on'.’
    • ‘Thus, I believe that the preposition usually translated as "but" in this verse (which means 'instead' or 'rather'), should really have been translated with a continuative sense as "and" or "moreover" -- "You have heard it said... moreover I tell you...".’


  • A word or phrase that moves a conversation forward (e.g., yes, well, as I was saying).

    ‘These are easily seen as continuative (and I find them relatively easy to understand).’
    • ‘Below are lists of the main uses for each of the three continuatives.’
    • ‘However, one has to be warned that the other words in the list may also function as discourse signallers or continuatives in which case they are part of the textual metafunction of language, and hence cannot be regarded as modal adjuncts.’
    • ‘Other continuative particles can be used, so long as they match the definite article attached to the subject.’


Mid 16th century (as a noun denoting something which brings about continuity): from late Latin continuativus, from continuat- ‘continued’, from the verb continuare (see continue).