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I learned 接着 a while ago, and the CEDICT definition is as follows:

to catch and hold on / to continue / to go on to do sth / to follow / to carry on / then / after that / subsequently / to proceed / to ensue / in turn / in one's turn

Today I encountered 继续 for the first time, and it has this definition:

to continue / to proceed with / to go on with

Are they mostly interchangeable? It looks like 接着 has a few more meanings, but are there any situations where 继续 is preferred? Are there any differences in tone or formality?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Both of "接着" and "继续" can mean "to continue"(of course,either of them has other meanings), in this case, I would say "接着" must have an infinitive while "继续" may not have. Examples:

现在太晚了,明天再接着写吧。 Right It's too late now. [I suggest you]continue to write tomorrow.
现在太晚了,明天再继续写吧。 Right It's too late now. [I suggest you]continue to write tomorrow.
现在太晚了,明天再继续吧。 Right It's too late now. [I suggest you]continue tomorrow.
现在太晚了,明天再接着吧。 Wrong

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except the meaning 'catch something', 接着 usually has a function as 'then' in English. 继续 means 'go on', 'continue'.

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接着 has the connotation of "picking up," after an interruption. Sometimes it could refer to "passing the baton" to another person.

继续 also means continue, but without the "picking up" connotation.

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