The meaning of "I am done"

Discussion in 'English Only' started by jaylhw1, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. jaylhw1 New Member

    "I am done" is usually followed by "with". What is the meaning of "I am done", is this a passive sentence structure, or " done" here behave as an adjective word? What is the difference between i am done and i have done?
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2009
  2. Franzi Senior Member

    Astoria, NY
    (San Francisco) English
    "I am done." (I have finished some task or activity that is clear from context.)

    "I have done."

    "I have done lots of things." (This is the present perfect of "I do lots of things.")
  3. steemic

    steemic Senior Member

    Pitman, New Jersey
    English (US)
    No done is a past tense verb in this case. It is synonomous with I am finished meaning that you have finished a task. You normally see with at the end because "the task" they have finished follows the verb. I am one could be translated many different ways depending on the context. Here are several possibilities:

    I am one of many who feel the same way about the new laws- You are one person amongst many others who share an opinion.

    I am [only] one person here doing all the work- There is nobody else except you performing the task at hand.

    Hope this makes things more clear for you.
  4. jaylhw1 New Member

    Sorry, i made a mistake here, i am not asking about "i am one", i have modified my post, my character "d" was missing, so u have thought that i was asking about "i am one". Anyway, thanks for the response.
  5. nemo eve walle

    nemo eve walle Senior Member

    I dare not ask the question by a new post because there are lots of discuss in this forum, so I ask it here, which is relative to the tittle and the contents.
    ''Done'' can be both a intransitive verb and a transitive verb, so can ''finish'', done in ''I have done'' is intransitive verb because there is no object after it; done in ''I have done my homework'' is a transitive verb, because homework is its object.
    Done in ''I am done'' can not be a transitive verb, because if it is, ''I'' is the object, that means ''I am done by something or somebody'', the meaning depends on context, but it definitely doesn't have the meaning of ''I have finish something''; it also can not be a intransitive verb, because if it is, the sentence must be ''I have done'', and no object after it is fine(because it is a intransitive verb). The verb ''be'' functions as a connecter between a subject and a verb, the subject is affected by the word, so the verb after it must be present tense or passive form(i.e. a transitive verb).
    So, ''I am done'' is grammatically wrong. But many people say it is natural to them. Now, refute me!
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2013
  6. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima

    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Our dictionary (Collins) treats done as an adjective (first sense).
    This might be the easiest way of dealing with it. If you have an adjective, you can certainly use the verb be​.
  7. Pedro y La Torre

    Pedro y La Torre Senior Member

    Paris, France
    English (Ireland)
    This was not always the case. "I have done" can be found in educated texts into the mid-19th century, after which it seems to drop out of regular use.


    Robert Emmet, 1803.

    I could still imagine using it in a moment of rhetorical flourish.
  8. nemo eve walle

    nemo eve walle Senior Member

    This is right because the subject's state is ''at the end of a task....'', but ''done'' is different, it is ''completed; finished'',
    My homework is done.
    ''Is'' connect the subject and the state, which means my homework is completed; finished. You say ''I am done'' there is no way that it could mean ''I am completed'', unless you are a robot.
  9. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima

    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I think it is still the same 'done' there - only the task is implied: 'I am done (in my task)'. You can similarly say, 'I am finished' to mean the same thing.
  10. wolfbm1 Senior Member

    To me "done" in "I am done" is an adjective.
    OALD lists this idiom:
    done and dusted
    (British English, informal) completely finished That's my article for the magazine done and dusted.

    Also one can say "I was done and so was he." Compare "The day in which I was born."

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