Carry On (phrasal verb)
‘Carry on’ has many meanings. The most common meaning is ‘continue’ or ‘keep on’. For example, ‘Carry on working, everyone’ just means ‘Continue working, everyone’. However, sometimes ‘carry on’ has an added (positive) nuance; it means ‘continue – be stoic in a difficult situation’. Another, completely different (negative) meaning is ‘behave badly: crying, complaining or yelling etc’. In the example below, B uses ‘carry on’ to mean ‘behave badly’ and A uses it to mean ‘be stoic’.
A: Agh! Oh no! A spider! A spider! I’m so scared!
B: Oh, stop carrying on! The spider won’t hurt you.
A: You’re such a tough guy. I can’t just keep quiet and carry on like you. I need to express my feelings.
Are you good at keeping calm and carrying on?