“In the end” or “At the end”?

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Should we say “in the end” or “at the end”?

The answer is both, in slightly different situations.

“In the end” is more metaphorical, and “at the end” is more literal.

We use “at the end” to refer to the final part of something:

  • There was a big surprise at the end of the book.
  • At the end of class, our teacher always asks if anyone has any questions.
  • I’m always out of money at the end of the month.

We use “in the end” to mean “finally,” or “after a long time,” or “after everything is considered”:

  • We had a lot of arguments, but in the end we came to an agreement.
    = we finally came to an agreement
  • Although that book had a few interesting parts, in the end, I wouldn’t recommend it.
    = after everything is considered

Can you write your own example sentences? Give it a try!