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Jane Mairs, Director of English language Learning Publishing
In the end / at the end
Tuesday December 6th 2011
Question
In the end / at the end
Answer

Isaac, from Israel, asked about the difference between in the end and at the end, and when to use them.

In the end

In the end is used mostly as an idiom that means "finally," "after a long time," or, "when everything is considered." It is often followed by a comma. Here are some sentences with this idiom:

  1. We worked hard, and in the end, we achieved our goal.
  2. In the end, what really matters in a friendship is trust.

 

At the end

At the end is used in the idiom "at the end of the day." which means something similar to in the end (= when everything is considered). However, at the end is most commonly used more literally, as a prepositional phrase followed by of, to refer to the end of a specific noun. This noun can be a physical object, a period of time, an event, a place, or something more abstract, such as one's patience.

Here are some sentences with at the end + of:

  1. At the end of his life, he had no regrets.
  2. Put a period at the end of every sentence.
  3. I pay the phone bill at the end of each month.
  4. There is a brick building at the end of the driveway.
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