Grammar Info

N4 Lesson 2: 7/17


To finish, To end


Verb[ます+ ()わる


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About おわる

To express that actions are beginning, or ending in Japanese, the verbs (はじ)める (to commence), or ()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)(とど)()わりました
    I have finished delivering all the packages.
  • この(くるま)ローン明日(あした)(はら)()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)()わります
    My student life will end tomorrow. (Will finish)
  • ん、で()わる言葉(ことば)使(つか)って()
    I used a word ending with ん, and lost. (Is finishing)
  • 戦争(せんそう)20(ねん)(まえ)()わっ
    The war ended 20 years ago. (Has finished)
Unlike はじめる, which uses the transitive form, ()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 (intransitive), rather than forcefully (transitive). However, there are exceptions to this, and ()える (the transitive version) may also be seen used as an auxiliary to other verbs.


  • 時間(じかん)かかったけど()()りました

    It took two hours but I finished eating.

  • ()ごろ(つく)()

    I will finish making it around three o'clock.

  • この番組(ばんぐみ)()()った

    I finished watching this program.

  • (はし)()わったのは何時(なんじ)ぐらいでした

    Around what time did you finish running?

  • 宿題(しゅくだい)(なお)()わった(ひと)(おし)えてください

    Those who have finished fixing the homework, let me know.

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おわる – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (12 in total)

  • testing


    About 1 year ago

    I have a question about the intransitive nature of 終る and the use of は and を to mark the target.

    Some example sentences use は:

    • この番組見終わった。
    • 図書館から借りた本読み終わった?

    Other example sentences use を:

    • 何になりたいかの文章書き終わりましたか。
    • 宿題直し終わった人は教えてください。

    I thought intransitive verbs don’t take objects with を, so how does that work? Is that a special case for 終る?

  • Daru


    About 1 year ago

    Not quite! It’s because the verb stem connecting to the intransitive 終わる is itself transitive.

    • 文章書く→ 文章を書き…
    • 問題直す → 問題を直し…

    Hope this helps clear it up!

  • Isurandil492


    About 1 year ago


    Can somebody explain the から here to me?

    EDIT: Oh, I think I got it now. It’s the てから grammar point.

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