HomeQ&AEnd up, finish

End up, finish

3
votes

I am having a problem when trying to translate two sentences that seem to be similar, but I think that the translation in English change when it is in negative in present and when it is in past and affirmative.

These are the sentences with their probable translations.

Past and affirmative sentence - Yo terminé comprendiéndolo todo- I ended up understanding everything. I finished understanding everything.

Present and negative sentence- Yo no termino de comprenderlo- I don't just understand.

I would like to know your points of view about the differences. Thank you.

To tell the truth, I am not very sure about the translation of both of them.

2604 views
updated FEB 7, 2011
edited by nila45
posted by nila45
To "tell" the truth is the correct expression. :) - Nicole-B, JUL 1, 2010
Honestly both 'yo's' are totally superfluous. - margaretbl, JUL 1, 2010

8 Answers

4
votes

Is the same "end up" and "finish"? I mean, are "ended up" and "finished" interchangeable in the first sentence?

No, these are not interchangeable. I'm trying to think of a way to describe this best.

You could say something like:

I finished studying the grammar book last night and ended up understanding everything.

To "finish" something is to complete a task, job, event.

"Ended up" is an expression that describes the results of something.

Another example:

I finished my Christmas shopping today and ended up spending less than I thought.

I finished cleaning the closet and ended up with a several coats to give to the poor.

I'm sure there must be some sort of rule, I just can't seem to remember it though. It may be that there are certain verbs that don't work with the word finished.

You would never say:

I finished loving my boyfriend.

I finished caring about the project.

Although in both of these cases you are literally "finished" with something. You would use the word "stopped" instead.

I know this is confusing. It is confusing for me to explain. I will try to see if there is a rule or if it is just a matter of how something sounds. smile

updated FEB 7, 2011
posted by Nicole-B
Good answer and it is very clear too. - nila45, JUL 1, 2010
I think you did a great job explaining. - Delores--Lindsey, JUL 2, 2010
3
votes

Taking the liberty to choose and change a little word order.

I ended up understanding everything. (After some work I finally got it)

I just don't understand. (After a struggle they feel they will still do not understand, with the implication they may never understand)

Not sure if this answers your question

updated JUL 2, 2010
edited by nizhoni1
posted by nizhoni1
Well, I see what I was suspecting. We don't use the same verb although the verb in Spanish is the same in both sentences. - nila45, JUL 1, 2010
1
vote

Perhaps an easier comment:

I don't just understand.

This means that I not only don't understand it, but I also can't...(e.g. use) it.

"I just don't understand", is probably what you intended to say.

This means "I can't begin to understand it."

updated JUL 3, 2010
posted by 0074b507
1
vote

I ended up understanding everything.

I finished understanding everything.

Yes Nila, they can both mean the same - but the 1st one indicates that you had more problems but finally managed to understand.

Both really need you to also say what you finished before understanding.

Also "to end up" is an expression often used when you "finish" in a bad situation.

Example:

I spent so much money I ended up broke.

You would not say

I spent so much money I finshed broke.

updated JUL 1, 2010
edited by ian-hill
posted by ian-hill
I have also heard examples of it being used to finish in a good situation: "He ended up winning the lottery" - Izanoni1, JUL 1, 2010
True Iza but it does imply something not so good happened prior to winning. - ian-hill, JUL 1, 2010
1
vote

Is the same "end up" and "finish"? I mean, are "ended up" and "finished" interchangeable in the first sentence?

I ended up understanding everything.

I finished understanding everything.

updated JUL 1, 2010
posted by nila45
Yes NIla - but the 1st one indicates that you had more problems but finally managed to understand. - ian-hill, JUL 1, 2010
The second one sounds strange to me. - Izanoni1, JUL 1, 2010
That would depend on the context it which it was said, in my opinion. - ian-hill, JUL 1, 2010
@Ian: You're probably right, sometimes context makes all the difference in the world....just off the top of my head, however, I can't think of any where this does not sound stiff to say. - Izanoni1, JUL 1, 2010
could you be saying" I finally understood everything"?The second sentence sounds unnatural. I could probably work with it in conversational context though - nizhoni1, JUL 1, 2010
I finished by understanding everything. - samdie, JUL 1, 2010
1
vote

To me, the expression "ended up" is more synonymous with the expression "in the end" than with "to finish doing something."

In the end, I understood everything ? I ended up understanding everything

To finish doing something can imply that you have terminated/ended/completed that activity so the expression "I have finished understanding..." sounds (at least to my ears) as if you were trying to say that you had stopped understanding something or that you no longer understand something.

I finished understanding everything ? I came to the end of understanding everything. (i.e. I no longer understand everything).

In the phrase above it seems that the word "understanding" functions as part of the verb phrase (finished understanding). I suppose that at best this expression might be a bit ambiguous in that if you turn it around, you can see that another meaning might be taken from this expression:

I finished understanding everything ? Understanding everything, I finished.

In the above sentences, the gerund (understanding) can also be taken to modify the subject (I).

To make it sound more like the first expression, it might be possible to use the gerund as the direct object: "I finished my understanding of everything" (still an odd phrase to utter).

Or you might possibly make it the object of a preposition: "I finished by understanding everything" or "I finished with understanding everything."

The sentence that uses the preposition "by" seems to imply that "understanding everything" was the final action that was to be completed and that this was completed. The second sentence which uses the preposition "with" is a bit more like your original in that it is a bit ambiguous as to whether or not you are trying to say that you quit with or without having accomplished the task of "understanding everything."

Perhaps it is the fact that your original sentence might be perceived ambiguously which makes your original sentence a bit troublesome, or maybe it is the fact that the idea of "understanding everything," as a task, is not one that is commonly expressed. In any case, the expressions using the verb "finish" sounds strange to my ears. Sorry that I could not be a bit more helpful on this one.

updated JUL 1, 2010
edited by Izanoni1
posted by Izanoni1
1
vote

Hi Nila smile

Nizhoni is correct with her explanation.

To say the truth, I am not very sure about the translation of both of them.

I am also wondering why the word "understanding"/comprendiendo" is being used in this example. It may work in Spanish, but just does not sound natural in English unless you insert the word "up" as Nizhoni did in the first sentence and "just" in the second. I don't know how a student can be expected to know that unless they are far more advanced in English.

More natural verbs to use in this case would be "learning", "studying", etc. These verbs would fit more naturally.

If these examples are from a teacher, I would ask for further explanation. If they are from a book, it may be an error. I have found several errors in Spanish grammar books recently, which were confirmed by a friend who is fluent.

updated JUL 1, 2010
posted by Nicole-B
0
votes

To me, the expression "ended up" is more synonymous with the expression "in the end" than with "to finish doing something."

In the end, I understood everything ? I ended up understanding everything

Al final terminé comprendiéndolo todo = in the end, I understood everything

Terminé por comprenderlo todo = I understood everything

They are similar

Terminé de comprenderlo

This has a very different meaning because that means that you stopped understanding.

updated JUL 2, 2010
posted by nila45
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