The Difference between “End” and “Finish”

What is the Difference between "End" and "Finish"?


1. How to use “FINISH”

“Finish” + object: When we talk about getting to the end of something or completing an activity, we usually prefer “finish”.

The verb 'to finish' means to end up doing any relevant task or work.

E.g.

  • He never lets me finish a sentence.
  • You’ll never finish that hamburger – it’s too big for you.
  • Have you finished cleaning the floor yet?
  • Workers were straining to finish the job.
  • The last two runs to finish from one ball.

According to Merriam Webster, the word finish means:

  • To reach the end of (something)
  • To stop doing (something) because it is completed
  • To be done with building or creating (something)
  • To cause something to end or stop
  • To reach the end of something

Note that “finish” can be followed by an –ing form (but “end” is not followed by an –ing form.)

2. How to use END

“End” + object: When we talk about stopping or breaking something off, we usually prefer “end”

E.g. I decided it was time to end our affair.

This is the end of dependency.

Revolution against injustice was the end of sufferings. (Here, it means there would be no more sufferings after the declared revolution.)

According to Merriam Webster, the word end means:

  • A point that marks the limit of something
  • The point at which something no longer continues to happen or exist
  • The last part of a story, movie, song, etc.
  • The part at the edge or limit of an area

“End” + object = “bring to a close”

E.g. 

  • How do you end a letter to somebody you don’t know?
  • She ended her concert with three songs by Schubert.
  • My father ended his days (=died)  in a mental hospital.

Both, finish and end are synonyms of each other, but, their meaning is different. Finish relates to end of any stage or part of that task, while end related to the stop or entire termination of that work. More briefly, finish co-relates to completion, but end co-relates to termination.

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The Difference between “End” and “Finish”

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