'done in' : this means 'extremely tired' : "I've been digging my new vegetable patch all morning. Boy do I need a break. I'm all done in/done in."
'done for' : a person is in a situation so bad that it is impossible to get out of it; they are ruined, defeated, as good as dead, some bad consequence is inevitable : "With the team's loss of the Celtic's game last Saturday, I can't see any chance that they can get through to the finals. I reckon they're done for this season."
"Why didn't you wear gloves? If the police find your fingerprints on the car door, you're done for."
vil: have another look at the original post, at what was said, and what was being asked.
In your example, 'the computer is done for' - OK- 'done in'? - no, unless one is anthropomorphizing, and the poor thing is all pooped out and needs leaving on the nearest ice-flow.
In your example, the nemesis which has befallen the computer is some combination of age, inbuilt obsolescence, and superseded technology. The 'bad situation' is that it is beyond being salvaged.
A better expression, though, is :"This computer has had it."
Is he on his death bed with a gunshot wound to his head and at least a knife in his heart?
If he said, "I'm done for" (without the 'so') then it would mean, 'that load of work has been so gruelling that I am so worn out I'm on my last legs(=I'm in the process of dying.) That amount of work has been the death of me, it's killed me.
That is not the same as being tired out = done in.
You are confusing meanings, in the same way that 'finished' could be confused.
"I'm finished" - I've done my homework
"I'm finished, Hardy. Kismit." - VERY freely adapted from Nelson's reported last words as he died.
Hillary Clinton is done for, there is no way she can win now.
He's about to succumb to the elements. He's lost in the woods with no hope of getting back to civilization alive. He's done for.
There's no hope for him now.
If Spain has to take on Germany in the finals, they are done for [before they even get going]. The writing's on the wall.
The Mafia knows you've talked. You're done for.
It's more than a fender bender, my car is done in. She's a write off.
Your ass is grass. You're toast. You're done in. The Mafia will do you in if you talk.
Germany is really going to do in Spain in the Euro Football finals.
That last concussion really did in his hockey career. His career is finished.
Putting too much bleach into the wash really did in my nice shirt. It essentially destroyed it.
I'm beat - I'm tired. I'm exhausted. I'm done. I'm beat tired. I'm done like toast., petered out.
I'm done in, I can't take it anymore.
Sometimes "done for" and "done in" can be used interchangeably (context-wise), especially in idiomatic or exaggerated usages.
Last edited by JessicaJones; 27-Jun-2008 at 00:26.
What North Americans do with language! How the hell does anybody over there know what anything means any more. Everything is becoming interchangeable- meaning, it seems, is dispensible. "It means whatever you want it to mean." Now I know what Lewis Carroll was mocking.
Agnes...honestly...if this is how your crowd talks...I cannot imagine how you have in-depth conversations where nuances of meaning and the precise meaning of terms is paramount.