Many ways to say “to finish”

1. 다 + verb

As previously seen, the word 다 can be used with nouns to mean “all noun” or function as a noun itself to mean “all”.

e.g., 다 살 거에요? – Are you going to buy all of it?

 커피를 다 마시다 – to drink all the coffee.

However, 다 itself is an adverb and so has a stronger influence on verbs to mean “to finish verb-ing”. Therefore, though 커피를 다 마시다 can translate to “to drink all the coffee”, its translation is actually closer to “to finish drinking the coffee” with 다 having its effect on the verb NOT the noun.



숙제를 했어요 – I did all the homework ⇒ I finished the homework.

밥을 먹었어요 – I ate all the food ⇒ I finished eating.

NB: since 다 has its effect on the verb, this sentence does not always imply that you finished all of the food. Sometimes, it could mean that you didn’t finish the whole meal but you are done eating.

영화 봤어요 – I watched the whole movie ⇒ I finished watching the movie.

잤어요 – I’m done sleeping (I’ve had enough sleep).

곧 빨래 할 거야  – I’ll finish the laundry soon.

노래 불렀어요 – I finished singing.

내일까지 이 책을 읽을 거에요 – I will finish this book by tomorrow.

2. Noun + 을/끝내다

This construction can also be used to mean “to finish…”. The main difference however is that the translation is closer to “to finish SOMETHING” and so it is normally used with nouns. It is also for this reason why the object marking particles 을/를 are used with these nouns.



설거지를 끝냈어요 – I finished washing the dishes.

수업을 끝냈어요 – I finished class.

남자친구가 저녁 요리를 끝냈어요 – My boyfriend finished cooking dinner.

지수가 최대한 빨리 숙제를 끝냈으면 좋겠어요 – I hope Jisoo finishes her homework as soon as possible.

As shown, 끝내다 is normally used with nouns that when combined with 하다 form verbs, for example:

잠을 자다 – to sleep
잠을 하다 (X) – incorrect form of verb

식사하다 – to have a meal청소하다 – to clean

잠을 끝내다

식사를 끝내다

청소를 끝내다



However, if a noun implies that there is a start to finish (e.g., 책, 영화), it can be used with 끝내다.



그 책을 끝냈어요 – I finished reading that book.

친구가 추천한 영화를 끝냈어요 – I finished the film that my friend recommended.

경주 제일 먼저 끝냈어요 –  I finished the race first.

끝내다 is also interchangeable with 마치다 (e.g., 세수 방금 마쳤어요 – I just finished washing my face). 

NB: The difference between 끝내다 and 끝나다

The main difference between these 2 verbs is that 끝내다 (to finish) is an active verb whereas 끝나다 (to be finished) is a passive verb. In this way, 끝내다 can act on objects, whereas 끝나다 cannot. Instead, 끝나다 is often used with the 이/가 particle. For example:

저는 영화를 끝냈어요 – I finished the film VS 영화가 끝났어요 – The film finished.

오빠가 책을 끝냈어요 – My brother finished the book VS 책이 끝났어요 – The book was finished.

다 + 끝내다

It is also possible to combine both 끝내다 and 다 to create this meaning. Since 다 is an adverb, it must come before 끝내다.



숙제를 다 끝냈어요 – I finished my homework.

식사를 다 끝내셨나요? – Have you finished eating?