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Published by James Cuasmayan

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Published by: James Cuasmayan on Jan 13, 2013
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 Ask about English bbclearningenglish.com © BBC Learning English 2009
BBC Learning EnglishAsk about English1
September 2009
 At the end / in the end 
A question from Maria in Russia:
What is the difference between the two expressions ‘at the end’ and ‘in the end’?
Trudi Faulkner-Petrova answers:
Maria, I’m glad to hear you find this website useful and hope this answer will help you.I’m going to start with ‘at the end’ because it's got more than one meaning. It can refer to theend of a physical location, like ‘
at the end 
of our street’. It can also mean a metaphorical end,like ‘
at the end 
of the story’ or ‘
at the end 
of the movie’. This phrase can also mean the endpoint of a period of time. Some examples of this usage are:
The teacher set some homework at the end of the lesson. I’m going on holiday at the end of the week.
So, what about ‘in the end’ then? Well, it’s an adverb phrase which means ‘finally’. Here’s anexample:
 I complained about the pizza so, in the end, I didn’t have to pay for it.We waited for an hour and, in the end, we went without her.
Well, I’m ‘at the end’ of my explanation now, so I hope you can successfully discriminatebetween the two phrases now!
Trudi Faulkner-Petrova
has a BA (Hons) in English, Bsc. in Psychology and Cert.TESOL.She has been teaching EFL, EAP and Business English in international schools, businesses

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