Continental - yarn is held in the left hand
English - yarn is held in the right hand
Then you are knitting back and forth, or flat? When you look at your stitches, if it looks like a knit (a V shape), knit it; if it looks like a bump, purl it. After a few rows you should see the rib pattern showing up.
Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance...the five stages of frogging.