TO END vs TO FINISH – Collocations in English

To_end_vs_to_finishBased on: McCarthy, M. O’Dell, F. (2008), Collocations in use, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

TO END

  • To stop with a clear conclusion. We use it when there’s an important change.
    Example: World War II ended in 1945.
  • END can’t be followed by either the infinitive (to- form) or the -ing form.
    Example: Mark ended drying his hair. => This sentence isn’t correct!
    The correct sentence is: Mark finished drying his hair.

TO FINISH

  • To bring something to an end.
    Example: Are you sure you’ll finish your essay by Monday?
  • To eat, drink the last of something.
    Example: I’m sorry, I just finished the coffee.
  • It can be followed by the -ing form, but not by the infinitive.
    Example: They have finished to play. => This sentence is not correct!
    The correct sentence is: They have finished playing.