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Sometimes here I've been taught that some form is "continuative". I read some webpages to try to understand what it means, but I'm not getting it. For example, this webpage

http://www.epochrypha.com/japanese/materials/verbs/teform.html

says the "te" form is a continuative form because "it forms a subordinate clause that requires a main clause for completion." What is the main clause this clause is subordinated when you use it as imperative? . That webpage also says the main clause can be implied but I dont see which one it could be in cases like Tabete kudasai.

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Don't get caught up in the name of the form. It's just a name to help identify what is being talked about.

It mostly just refers to a form of the verb that implies there's yet more that needs to be said. The name itself, "continuative", was probably arrived at because the verb form itself needs for something more to happen before there's a complete thought: so, the form suggests that there's more to continue after what's just been said.

Frequently, but not always, the continuative functions like -ing participles in English. Sometimes it's rendered into English as "... and ..."

ビールを飲んで運転するのはダメだ。

Drinking beer and then driving is bad.

銀行に行って喫茶店で昼を過ごしました。

I went to the bank, and .... spent the afternoon at a cafe.

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