Difference Wiki

Cancel vs. Continue: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Published on November 14, 2023
Cancel refers to annul or terminate something. Continue refers to persist or carry on with something.

Key Differences

Cancel implies stopping or terminating an action, event, or process. It indicates a cessation. Continue suggests the opposite, meaning to keep going or persist in an action or state.
When plans or events are disrupted, cancel is the word used to describe their termination. On the contrary, continue is used when plans or events proceed as expected without interruption.
In the context of agreements or subscriptions, cancel means to end them before they are due to finish. In contrast, continue would mean to uphold or prolong such agreements or subscriptions.
Cancel also finds its use in negating or invalidating something, like a command or decision. Meanwhile, continue implies maintaining the status quo or progressing with the current state or decision.
In technology or computing, cancel is often a command to stop a current operation. Continue, in this context, would be a command to proceed with the operation or process.

Comparison Chart

Basic Meaning

Terminate or annul
Persist or carry on


Events, agreements
Plans, processes


Stopping, negating
Maintaining, progressing

Contextual Usage

Disruptions, invalidations
Progression, prolongation

Technological Use

Stop a current operation
Proceed with an operation

Cancel and Continue Definitions


Cancel the previous command.


The project will continue as planned.


They had to cancel the meeting.


Carry on.
He continues to improve daily.


The contract was canceled.


She decided to continue her studies.


The event was canceled due to weather.


Continue holding the line.


They decided to cancel the subscription.


After the break, the seminar will continue.


To annul or invalidate
Cancel a credit card.


To go on with a particular action or in a particular condition; persist
We continued until the job was finished.


To decide or announce that (a planned or scheduled event) will not take place, especially with no intention of holding it at a later time
Cancel a picnic.
Cancel a soccer game.


To exist over a period; last
The meeting continued for another hour.


What is the basic meaning of continue?

Continue basically means to persist or carry on with something.

What does cancel generally mean?

Cancel generally means to terminate or annul something.

Can cancel be used for events?

Yes, cancel is often used to indicate the termination of events.

Is cancel appropriate for invalidating commands?

Yes, cancel is used to invalidate or negate commands.

Is cancel used to invalidate decisions?

Yes, cancel can be used to invalidate or negate decisions.

Can cancel be used in technology to stop operations?

Yes, in technology, cancel is often a command to stop an operation.

Does cancel imply stopping something?

Yes, cancel implies stopping or discontinuing something.

Can cancel be used for abolishing events?

Yes, cancel can be used for abolishing or calling off events.

Can continue imply keeping things as they are?

Yes, continue can imply keeping things as they are without interruption.

Is cancel used for contracts?

Yes, cancel can be used to indicate the termination of contracts.

Does continue fit in a technological context?

Yes, continue fits in a technological context, especially as a command in computing.

Is continue used to describe ongoing processes?

Yes, continue is used to describe processes that are ongoing or are to be maintained.

Does continue suggest progressing with a plan?

Yes, continue suggests maintaining or progressing with a plan or action.

Does cancel mean to discontinue a service?

Yes, cancel can mean to discontinue a service or subscription.

Does cancel apply to subscriptions?

Yes, cancel can apply to ending subscriptions prematurely.

Is continue used for resuming activities?

Yes, continue can be used for resuming or carrying on activities.

Can continue mean to uphold agreements?

Yes, continue can mean to uphold or prolong agreements.

Is continue a command in computing to proceed?

Yes, in computing, continue is often a command to proceed with an operation.

Can continue be used to describe educational pursuits?

Yes, continue can be used to describe persisting with educational pursuits.

Does continue mean to maintain the status quo?

Yes, continue can mean maintaining the current state or status quo.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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