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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Ukrainian
      • Home Country:
      • Ukraine
      • Current Location:
      • Ukraine

    • Join Date: Dec 2005
    • Posts: 22

    Finish vs. End

    Could anyone give any hints as to how differentiate between them, please

    • Join Date: May 2006
    • Posts: 1,335

    Re: Finish vs. End

    Hi, Alex
    It's a vast issue. Just a couple of basic things:
    finish - mostly with time
    The lesson finished at 10.
    end - talking abt some results.
    Everything ended happily.
    How does the story end?


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    Student or Learner

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 2

    Re: Finish vs. End

    but your solution is not fit to the quiz given in this site.

    i couldn't (end/finish) the dinner.

    solution given is finish is correct answer
    but htere is no time mentioned.

    please throw some more light on it.

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 1,571

    Re: Finish vs. End

    This is quite a challenging problem!
    I think we should start by making up a collection of sentences where only one of the verbs is possible. That will help us to work out a set of restrictions on each verb. After that it'll be clear how to distinguish between them.

    Here is my contribution.
    'Finish' can be followed by a gerund in the function of direct object, while 'end' cannot.
    e.g. He finished reading the article at 9:00.
    You can't say 'ended reading'.

    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409

    Re: Finish vs. End

    'end' is the extreme point of some continuum, such as a period of time, an activity (every action takes time and hence implies a time period), a story.
    We usually contrast this by talking of the 'beginning' (the very start of this continuum) and the 'end'.

    But I could have just written:
    'end' is the extreme point of some continuum. If one end of the continuum is called the 'end', then the other end is called the 'beginning'.

    'finish' (verb: to finish) is to bring some activity, some action to an end, to a conclusion. Here, the other 'end' of the continuum is 'start'.
    "Finish your dinner before it gets cold."
    "I enjoyed the movie from start to finish."

    ...and that's just the beginning of this tricky one! It's particularly when we use them both as nouns that the real trouble starts. What's the difference between "the end of the race" 'the finish of the race"? Is there a real difference?
    The difference between "He ended the discussion..." "He finished the discussion..."
    Let me think further about this.
    Last edited by David L.; 25-Jun-2008 at 08:24.

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 1,571

    Re: Finish vs. End

    Although we started with these words used as verbs, it may be useful to discuss them as nouns as well.

    As a noun 'finish' can't be modified by an of-phrase. 'End' is used in such collocations.
    e.g. the end of the game, the end of the month, etc.
    'Finish' seems to be associated with a line, and 'end' - with a strip adjacent to the line. That's why a period of a few days before June 30 is described as 'the end of June' and not 'the finish of June.'

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