Constantly or consistently?

09 Jan

What’s the difference between constantly and consistently? Find out below …

Constant means remaining the same but its primary meaning is happening continuously, and it also has a metaphorical meaning of dependable and faithful. So to do something constantly means to do it all the time, as well as remaining constant or the same (and also doing it dependably).

Consistent means done in the same way over a long period of time, including an attribute of fairness and accuracy. It also means being compatible with (as in x was consistent with y). So doing something consistently means doing it in the same way over a long period of time, which does echo the secondary sense of constantly, but constantly also includes a sense of doing it continuously, which consistently doesn’t.

For example, I am constantly taking photos that I put up on social media, every day if not more; I consistently post a books of the year round-up on the first of January every year.

You can find more troublesome pairs here and the index to them all so far is here.


Posted by on January 9, 2019 in Errors, Language use, Troublesome pairs, Writing


Tags: , , ,

4 responses to “Constantly or consistently?

  1. The Story Reading Ape

    January 10, 2019 at 12:07 pm

    Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog.


  2. Don Massenzio

    January 10, 2019 at 1:57 pm

    Reblogged this on Author Don Massenzio and commented:
    Check out this post from the Libro Editing blog that tells us the difference between constantly and consistently


  3. Darlene

    January 14, 2019 at 2:58 pm

    I constantly take photos and post to IG.

    I consistently post to my blog – usually Mon, Tues and Fri.

    It does seem consistency is more important. As opposed to sporadically.

    I sporadically cook and workout.


    • Liz Dexter

      January 14, 2019 at 3:04 pm

      Good examples, too! I sporadically updated my blog last year; I spent a day constantly writing blog posts to post consistently through the next few months …



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