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Consecutive vs. Successive: Know the Difference

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By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Consecutive refers to events or items following one directly after the other in a sequential order, while successive denotes events or items following each other but not necessarily immediately or without interruption.
Consecutive vs. Successive

Key Differences

Consecutive implies a continuous, uninterrupted sequence, as in "She worked three consecutive days." Successive indicates a sequence where each item follows the previous one but not necessarily without breaks, as in "He won successive matches over two weekends."
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Consecutive is often used in contexts where uninterrupted sequence is important, like "consecutive numbers in a series." Successive is used where the emphasis is on following in order, but allows for intervals, like "successive governments over the decades."
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In terms of time, consecutive suggests a back-to-back occurrence, as in "consecutive hours." Successive implies a sequence over time, but with potential gaps, as in "successive generations of a family."
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In sports, consecutive is used to describe events occurring in a direct series without breaks, like "four consecutive wins in a season." Successive can be used for wins or events over a period, including different seasons or years, as in "successive championship titles."
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Consecutive often implies a regular, frequent occurrence, as in "meetings on three consecutive Mondays." Successive, however, can imply occurrences over a longer duration or with less regularity, as in "successive appearances in the finals."
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Comparison Chart

Sequence

Follows directly one after the other
Follows one after the other, but not necessarily directly
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Time Implication

Implies uninterrupted, immediate sequence
Allows for intervals or breaks between occurrences
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Context of Use

Used where uninterrupted order is important
Used where sequence is important, but with potential gaps
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Application in Sports

Describes back-to-back events within a single period
Describes events over longer periods, including gaps
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Regularity and Frequency

Often implies regular, frequent occurrence
Can imply less frequent or regular occurrences
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Consecutive and Successive Definitions

Consecutive

In an unbroken series
They won three consecutive games.
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Successive

Sequential with possible intervals
The company saw successive CEOs.
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Consecutive

Following continuously
She attended five consecutive meetings.
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Successive

Following one after another
The artist released successive albums.
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Consecutive

Back-to-back in order
The team had consecutive victories.
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Successive

Occurring in an ordered series
The reforms were implemented in successive stages.
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Consecutive

Following one after another without interruption; successive
Was absent on three consecutive days.
Won five consecutive games on the road.
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Successive

Sequential but not immediate
He won the title in successive years.
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Consecutive

Marked by logical sequence.
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Successive

In sequence over time
Successive generations inherited the house.
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Consecutive

(Grammar) Expressing consequence or result
A consecutive clause.
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Successive

Following in uninterrupted order; consecutive
On three successive days.
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Consecutive

Following, in succession, without interruption
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Successive

Of, characterized by, or involving succession
The government successive to the fallen monarchy.
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Consecutive

Having some logical sequence
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Successive

Coming one after the other in a series.
They had won the title for five successive years.
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Consecutive

A sequence of notes or chords that results from repeated shifts in pitch of the same interval.
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Successive

Of, or relating to a succession; hereditary.
A successive title; a successive empire
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Consecutive

A linguistic form that implies or describes an event that follows temporally from another.
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Successive

(grammar) Of or relating to the grammatical aspect which presupposes the completion of a secondary action as a premise for the primary action of the statement.
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Consecutive

Consecutive interpretation.
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Successive

Following in order or in uninterrupted course; coming after without interruption or interval; following one after another in a line or series; consecutive; as, the successive revolution of years; the successive kings of Egypt; successive strokes of a hammer.
Send the successive ills through ages down.
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Consecutive

Following in a train; succeeding one another in a regular order; successive; uninterrupted in course or succession; with no interval or break; as, fifty consecutive years.
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Successive

Having or giving the right of succeeding to an inheritance; inherited by succession; hereditary; as, a successive title; a successive empire.
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Consecutive

Following as a consequence or result; actually or logically dependent; consequential; succeeding.
The actions of a man consecutive to volition.
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Successive

In regular succession without gaps;
Serial concerts
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Consecutive

Having similarity of sequence; - said of certain parallel progressions of two parts in a piece of harmony; as, consecutive fifths, or consecutive octaves, which are forbidden.
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Consecutive

In regular succession without gaps;
Serial concerts
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Consecutive

Successive (without a break);
Sick for five straight days
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Consecutive

One after the other;
Back-to-back home runs
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Consecutive

In a consecutive manner;
We numbered the papers consecutively
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Consecutive

Sequential without interruption
He worked seven consecutive days.
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Consecutive

Directly succeeding
The numbers 4, 5, and 6 are consecutive.
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

Can successive events have intervals?

Yes, successive events can follow each other with intervals or breaks in between.
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How is consecutive used in sports?

Consecutive in sports refers to continuous wins or events in a single season.
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What defines consecutive in terms of time?

Consecutive refers to events happening back-to-back in time without interruption.
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Can consecutive be used in numbering?

Yes, consecutive is often used in the context of sequential numbering.
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What does successive mean in history?

Successive in history refers to events or periods following one another over time.
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Is consecutive used for uninterrupted sequences?

Yes, consecutive is used to describe uninterrupted, continuous sequences.
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Can consecutive refer to days of the week?

Yes, consecutive can refer to days of the week following one another without a break.
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Does consecutive imply immediacy?

Yes, consecutive often implies immediacy and direct succession.
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How does successive relate to company growth?

Successive relates to stages of company growth occurring one after another.
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What does successive imply in evolution?

Successive in evolution implies changes or developments occurring one after another over time.
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Can consecutive be used for events on different days?

Yes, if the events occur on days directly following each other.
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Does consecutive always mean without breaks?

Generally, yes, consecutive implies a sequence without breaks.
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How does successive apply to leadership changes?

Successive applies to leadership changes occurring one after another, possibly over years.
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What does successive mean in legal contexts?

In legal contexts, successive can refer to subsequent laws or decisions.
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What does successive imply in career progression?

Successive in career progression implies moving through positions or stages over time.
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How is successive used in sports championships?

Successive is used to describe championship wins over multiple seasons or years.
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What does successive mean in family generations?

Successive in family generations refers to one generation following another in order.
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Is consecutive suitable for describing serial tasks?

Yes, consecutive is suitable for tasks done in direct sequence.
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Can consecutive apply to seasons or years?

Consecutive can apply if the seasons or years follow directly one after the other.
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How is successive used in scientific experiments?

Successive is used for experiments conducted one after another, possibly with intervals.
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Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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