Grammar Info
N4 Lesson 2: 7/17

終(お)わる
To finish, To end

Structure
Casual
Formal
Verb[ます+ 終わる
Verb[ます+ 終わります
Details
Register Standard
使用域 一般
Information
To express that actions are beginning, or ending in Japanese, the verbs 始(はじ)める (to commence), or 終(お)わる (to end) will need to be used. In this lesson, we will focus on actions that are ‘ending’.
To say that (A) is ending/finishing, we will need to attach おわる to the ます stem of almost any verb. Whether you use the hiragana form, or the kanji form does not matter, as there will be no change in nuance.
  • 荷物(にもつ)全部(ぜんぶ)届(とど)け終(お)わりました
    I have finished delivering all the packages.
  • この車(くるま)ローン明日(あした)払(はら)い終(お)わる
    I will finish paying the loan for this car tomorrow.
Due to おわる being a verb itself, the tense can be changed to show that something will end, is ending, or has ended.
  • 学生生活(がくせいせいかつ)明日(あした)で終(お)わります
    My student life will end tomorrow. (Will finish)
  • ん、で終(お)わる言葉(ことば)使(つか)って負(ま)け
    I used a word ending with ん, and lost. (Is finishing)
  • 戦争(せんそう)20年(ねん)前(まえ)に終(お)わっ
    The war ended 20 years ago. (Has finished)
Caution
Unlike はじめる, which uses the transitive form, 終(お)わる uses the intransitive form of its transitive/intransitive pair. This is due to most actions in Japanese being considered to be things that ‘come to an end’ naturally (instranitive), rather than forcefully (transitive). However, there are exceptions to this, and 終(お)える (the transitive version) may also be seen used as an auxiliary to other verbs.
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時間(じかん)かかったけど食(た)べ終(お)わりました
It took two hours but I finished eating.
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時(じ)ごろ作(つく)り終(お)わ
I will finish making it around three o'clock.
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この番組(ばんぐみ)見(み)終(お)わった
I finished watching this program.
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Books
[DBJG] A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar
Page 362