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  1. #1
    K_ENG is offline Newbie
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    Default eventually vs finally

    In my native language, eventually and finally translate into the same meaning.

    Can anyone clarify the differences between the two words?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: eventually vs finally

    They are quite similar and can often be used in the same situation. Do you have a few sentences you're not sure about? If you posted them here, we can tell you if one sounds more natural than the other in those cases.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. #3
    K_ENG is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: eventually vs finally

    In some cases, both seem to work fine.

    I've been waiting for 3 hours and finally/eventually, the results came out.
    The Board of directors finally/eventually made its decision.


    In other cases, one seems to be a much better choice than the other (at least to me...)

    It's good to see you finally! --does 'eventually' also work in this case?
    I've been repairing the engine for quite some time now and I'll eventually make it work. --in this case finally sounds odd to me.

    I understand there are differences in the usage of these two words but not quire sure... Can anyone help me with this?

  4. #4
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: eventually vs finally

    If you are simply referring to the passage of time (and things taking a long time), then use "finally." I would use "finally" in your first example. I feel that "finally" also recgonizes the achievement of a goal.

    If you are talking about a long (especially a long and difficult) process or journey, then "eventually" is probably a better choice.

    It's good to meet you finally! -- Only finally works.

    However:

    Peter and Amy corresponded via letters for a year and half. They knew they would eventually meet in person, but they were not in a rush. Finally, the did meet, and already in love, married almost immediately and raised a large family of prolific letter writers.

    Peter and Amy corresponded via letters for years and finally met when Amy attended a conference in Peter's city. However, they had a serious disagreement about politics, and eventually their relationship ended.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. #5
    K_ENG is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: eventually vs finally

    Thanks a lot, Barb

  6. #6
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: eventually vs finally

    I'd add to Barb's usage notes that 'eventually' can be used sarcastically:

    'I'm glad to meet you finally.' But 'So, Brown, you decided to turn up - eventually. Did you know the class started 10 minutes ago?'

    b

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