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Quick answer
"Ultimar" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to finalize", and "terminar" is an intransitive verb which is often translated as "to end". Learn more about the difference between "ultimar" and "terminar" below.
ultimar
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to conclude)
a. to finalize
Regionalism used in the United States
(United States)
Los obreros están ultimando el proyecto de refacción.The workers are finalizing the restoration project.
b. to finalise (United Kingdom)
El pintor se tomó un descanso antes de ultimar el mural.The painter took a break before finalising the mural.
c. to complete
Ya ultimamos los preparativos para el desfile.We've completed the arrangements for the parade.
d. to put the final touches to
Los actores están ultimando los detalles para la función de esta noche.The actors are putting the final touches to tonight's performance.
e. to put the finishing touches to
La compositora alemana está ultimando su nuevo disco.The German composer is putting the finishing touches to her new album.
2. (to slay)
Regionalism used in Latin America: all the countries in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Does not include Spain.
(Latin America)
a. to kill
La víctima le quitó la pistola al ladrón y lo ultimó.The victim took the robber's handgun and killed him.
b. to murder
No se pagó el rescate y los secuestradores ultimaron al rehén.The ransom was not paid and the kidnappers murdered the hostage.
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terminar(
tehr
-
mee
-
nahr
)
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
1. (to come to an end)
a. to end
Solo quedan dos episodios para que termine la temporada.There are only two episodes left before the season ends.
2. (to end a relationship)
a. to break up
Terminó conmigo porque necesitaba espacio.He broke up with me because he needed space.
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
3. (to complete)
a. to finish
¿Ya has terminado de limpiar tu habitación?Have you finished cleaning your room yet?
terminarse
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
4. (to complete)
a. to finish
Termínate el desayuno y vámonos.Finish your breakfast and let's go.
5. (to have none left)
a. to run out
Espero que lleguemos a nuestro destino antes de que al coche se le termine la gasolina.I hope we get to where we are going before the car runs out of gas.
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