1. The WordReference Forums have moved to new forum software. (Details)

"to be done" versus "to be finished" - I'm done, I'm finished

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Antonio, Sep 1, 2004.

  1. Antonio Senior Member

    Monterrey
    Mexico/Spanish
    Hi Group,

    What does it mean this expression with the word done. Here are some examples:

    "All right, that's it, I'm done with this job/partnership/project/relationship"
    "After I learn English, I'm done" means it's over or what?
    "Jimmy, You're done"
    Jimmy, We're done"
    "It's just not done"
    "he's done in after working all night"

    And another thing, "Well done" is not common to say in spoken English, right?, you say things like "Good Job", "Perfect" "Way to go", etc.
     
  2. BeeDee New Member

    Montreal
    Canada / English
    Hello Antonio,

    http://dictionary.cambridge.org/results.asp?dict=CALD

    Have a look at this link, it will give you a good idea how the verb "do" can be used. Place your cursor over any of the words/phrases and click on it for definitions.

    As for your examples, here are some explanations (hope they help):

    "All right, that's it, I'm done with this job/partnership/project/relationship"
    --> I've had it with .... ! (i.e. giving up/fed up)

    "After I learn English, I'm done" means it's over or what?
    --> something like that. Or, I'll do no more / that's enough.

    "Jimmy, You're done"
    --> sentence doesn't seem complete. Normally one would say "you're done with this job" ; basically means "you're finished."

    Jimmy, We're done"
    --> similar to above.

    "It's just not done"
    --> aaah, the classic phrase that means it's an improper or impolite thing to do (refers to social situations, usually). For example, picking one's nose in public is "just not done." (at least in North America).

    "he's done in after working all night"
    --> exhausted / too tired to do anything else

    As for "well done", yes, it's used in English as praise.

    Good luck!
     
  3. Sharon

    Sharon Senior Member

    United States, English
    Well done, BeeDee !! :)

    I just would like to add that the expression "done" is also used in a bar to signify that someone is "cut off," they will receive no more alcohol for the evening. I work part-time in a bar, and the "Jimmy, you're done" expression is very familiar to me!! It can also be used when talking about someone who is very drunk, if someone says, "Boy, he's drunk!" then you can say, "Oh yes, he's done."
     
  4. Antonio Senior Member

    Monterrey
    Mexico/Spanish
    Now can you give me another example of the word "done" using the context "exhausted" and "very drunk", please.
     
  5. VenusEnvy

    VenusEnvy Senior Member

    Maryland, USA
    English, United States
    Exhausted:
    "I just ran a marathon. I am done!" *
    "I just ran a marathon. I am spent!" (another way to say it)

    Finished:
    "I just ran a marathon. I am done!" *
    "I am done with my dinner. I don't want to eat anymore."

    Drunk:
    "After having only 3 beers last night, I was done!"
    "Jimmy, you've already had 3 shots. You are done!"

    * This sentence can have a double meaning.
     
  6. Antonio Senior Member

    Monterrey
    Mexico/Spanish
    But in the drunk context means drunk or very drunk?
     
  7. Sharon

    Sharon Senior Member

    United States, English
    Jeez, Antonio, how do ya do it?

    I will cover the examples for very drunk, as they are very familiar to me. These examples are very close to a conversation I have had too many times!

    "James, you have three cigarettes burning, so I think you are done."
    "No, James, you may not have another beer, you are done."
    "Give me your keys, and I will call you a taxi/cab, because you are done."
    "No, you may not have another beer, I told you that you are done."
    "Sharon, James is practicing his Kung Fu moves in front of the jukebox, again. He's done drinking, isn't he?"
    "Yes, Mike, there is a taxi on the way, and I've told him he's done...What, James? No, you may not have a shot, I am done with you."
     
  8. VenusEnvy

    VenusEnvy Senior Member

    Maryland, USA
    English, United States
    Sharon: LOL :D :p Educational, AND amusing!
     
  9. VenusEnvy

    VenusEnvy Senior Member

    Maryland, USA
    English, United States
    It means that you are drunk to the point that you need to stop!
    (Yes, very drunk)
     
  10. Antonio Senior Member

    Monterrey
    Mexico/Spanish
    Sharon,

    I'm not sure what you mean when you say this sentences:

    "James, you have three cigarettes burning, so I think you are done."

    You're done when you smoke, I don't get it?

    "Sharon, James is practicing his Kung Fu moves in front of the jukebox, again. He's done drinking, isn't he?"

    In this context you mean he quit drinking, right?
     
  11. jacinta Senior Member

    California
    USA English
    I have to laugh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Antonio, have you ever seen a sober person smoke three cigarettes at one time???? What Sharon is TRYING to say is that the person is so drunk he doesn't know that he already has a cigarette lit. He keeps lighting more. The bartender says to him, "James, you're done (drinking)."
    And then James is doing Kung Fu (I love these examples) in front of the jukebox.
    This is a hard concept to get, but it means he has had enough to drink and he has to stop. He's done. It's just an expression. It means "You've had enough to drink. You need to stop."
     
  12. Sharon

    Sharon Senior Member

    United States, English
    Hee,hee,hee !!

    VenusEnvy and Jacinta, thank you, glad it amused you. They say truth is funnier than fiction...or something like that. (Poor James, I've seen that man use a barstool as a walker !)

    Antonio, hope it helped.
     
  13. Antonio Senior Member

    Monterrey
    Mexico/Spanish
    Thanks Sharon, just only one last question here:

    "Jimmy you're done" in a non-drinking context, means you're finished or you're fired, right?
     
  14. David Senior Member

    To be done or to be through are both ways of saying to be finished. Example of the differences between US and British speech:

    US: Are you through (or done) with your cereal?
    British: Have you finished your porridge?

    Otra expresión: What´s done is done. Palo dado ni Dios lo quita.
     
  15. Antonio Senior Member

    Monterrey
    Mexico/Spanish
    So, "You're done" means you're finished, right? So, I assume that fired doesn't apply for the context and is not right, right?

    "What's done is done" what does it mean that phrase?
     
  16. Sharon

    Sharon Senior Member

    United States, English
    I suppose it could be used to say that a person is fired. "Your employment with our company is done." "Your days as a member of this staff are done." I really would hope that an employer would find a better way to say it, and they probably would - "You're fired" kind of says it all.

    "What's done is done" It more or less means that once something is done, there is no going back. It sort of is a way of shrugging off something that happened, that you wish would not have happened, but oh well, it's done and you can't take it back.
    A lot of times, when something bad happens, people sit and think..."What if I had done that differently?" People will drive themselves crazy with those "What ifs" People use the phrase "What's done is done" as a way of saying, "I can't change it, I might as well get over it.'
     
  17. Antonio Senior Member

    Monterrey
    Mexico/Spanish
    So, "You're done" means you're finished too, right?
     
  18. Antonio Senior Member

    Monterrey
    Mexico/Spanish
    Is very confusing this word, if you don't pay attention to it, when I received this week a package, their is a company slogan that goes like this "Amazon, and you're done" what does it mean in this context?
     
  19. jacinta Senior Member

    California
    USA English
    This means you go to your computer, click to Amazon, buy what you need and they send it to you. You're done. You're finished with your shopping. Easy.
     
  20. Sharon

    Sharon Senior Member

    United States, English
    Antonio, you spend a lot of time learning how the language is spoken, and I commend you for it. You don't just want to know what it means, you want to know how it feels. (As an example of "feeling" a language; angry is not quite mad, irked, peeved, irate, furious, and so on.) You want to make sure you will be understood. You are persistent in wanting to learn. That's great!!
    You also have to spend a little bit of time learning the grammar. Vocabulary is useful, but you have to put it together. You are not only learning to speak it, here in this forum you are learning to write it. With that in mind, I would like to help you with your last sentence:
    You have to start using "it." "It is very confusing." So you would say, "It is very confusing, this word, if you don't pay attention to it." Then, you are changing the subject a bit, so you start a new sentence. "When I received..." (Now you have to say what is being received, then you can say when.) So now it is "When I received a package this week, there is a company slogan that goes like this "Amazon, and you're done." You have to say "there" instead of "their" (A lot of people confuse the two, but just remember; "There is like here, only it's farther away, and there is no 'I' in here!" ) Now, since you are starting a new question, you have to capitalize the next sentence to ask, "What does it mean in this context?"

    "It is very confusing, this word, if you don't pay attention to it. When I received a package this week, there is a company slogan that goes like this, "Amazon, and you're done." What does it mean in this context?"

    That makes much more sense, but it still is not perfect. (Sorry to jump in with a grammar lesson when you didn't ask for one, but it will help you to be understood in this forum.)
     
  21. Antonio Senior Member

    Monterrey
    Mexico/Spanish
    Thanks Sharon, to tell you the truth my weakness is grammar. I don't pay too much attention to it, but I know that is important for everything, but as I was saying previously in this forum, sometimes and take it as a fact, I'm kind of messy when I type.

    By the way, on the same page, you still haven't answer my questions what does it mean "Amazon, and you're done" for me it means in this context "Amazon, and you're satisfy or satisfaction" or something like that, I can think or another word. And another thing, and so on means etc, right?
     
  22. Sharon

    Sharon Senior Member

    United States, English
    I know just how you feel, I've been trying to learn Spanish and my weakness is grammar. I spend a bit of time just reading in the Spanish/English forum, trying to help myself learn it. My suggestion to you would be that you read all of our answers twice, once for the meaning, and once to learn grammar, structure, and punctuation. It will slow you down a little, but it will help you in the end. (Speaking of slowing down a little, type a little slower!! :p )
    I agree with Jacinta's answer to what Amazon is saying. We have a concept of "One-stop shopping," and this basically means that everything you might ever want or need is in one place, so you can just go there, and be done with it (shopping.) I think Amazon is saying, (very loosely translated,) "We've got books, movies, CDs, one-stop, and you're done."
    Don't forget the "and" when you use "and so on," but yes, it means etc.
     
  23. Antonio Senior Member

    Monterrey
    Mexico/Spanish
    Sharon,

    If you have a problem trying to understand some words or phrases, please let me know, how I can help you.
     
  24. Sharon

    Sharon Senior Member

    United States, English
    I haven't even begun with idiomatic expressions, yet!! My problem is making the verb mean what I want it to say !! Subjunctive, conditional, they make my head swim!!
     
  25. roniy Senior Member

    Brooklyn NY
    ISRAEL: Fluent Hebrew ( Speak Russian, Learning English)
    the words done finished are confusing me .....

    i dont understand the difference betwwen
    i am done and i have done
    or i am finished ,i have finished , i finished ????

    and the words done and finished are adjective in this case ,right ????
    so the adjective meaning for this words is exausting isnt it ????
    but if you say i am done you mean like you have been doing something and you finished , right ??? and this is a different meaning from exausting

    so anybody can help me and explain me ,please .....


    thanks ,
    Roni.
     
  26. roniy Senior Member

    Brooklyn NY
    ISRAEL: Fluent Hebrew ( Speak Russian, Learning English)
    the words done finished are confusing me .....

    i dont understand the difference betwwen
    i am done and i have done
    or i am finished ,i have finished , i finished ????

    and the words done and finished are adjective in this case ,right ????
    so the adjective meaning for this words is exausting isnt it ????
    but if you say i am done you mean like you have been doing something and you finished , right ??? and this is a different meaning from exausting

    so anybody can help me and explain me ,please .....


    thanks ,
    Roni.
     
  27. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Urbana-Champaign, IL
    Am. English, Pal. Arabic (See profile)
    I am done, I am finished:

    -I have brought something to an end, I have completed an action
    OR
    -I am tired, I am exhausted (although it is more common to hear "I am done for")

    I have done, I have finished:

    These cannot be said alone. They need an object, such as in the following examples:

    I have done my duty.
    I have finished my homework.
    I have done you no harm.
    I have finished early every day for the past week.

    I hope this helps.
     
  28. roniy Senior Member

    Brooklyn NY
    ISRAEL: Fluent Hebrew ( Speak Russian, Learning English)
    Thanks you for the help

    and i have another question from you explanation i understand that there are no differences between these senteses ,right ???

    and what about "i finished "????

    how its different ???

    thank you
     
  29. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Urbana-Champaign, IL
    Am. English, Pal. Arabic (See profile)
    You are right. In the context of completing an action of being worn out, there is no difference between "I'm done" and "I'm finished."

    That also sounds like it's "hanging." I wouldn't normally use it without an object. However, it may be possible in answer to a question.

    -When did you start your project?
    -Last Saturday.
    -What were you doing on Wednesday?
    -I was still working on the project.
    -What about Friday?
    -In the morning I was still working on the project. But then around noon I finished.

    Nevertheless, that sounds slightly awkward. I would probably say, "I finished it."

    Let's wait to hear what others have to say. In the meantime, I would advise you to steer clear of "I finished" without an object.
     
  30. roniy Senior Member

    Brooklyn NY
    ISRAEL: Fluent Hebrew ( Speak Russian, Learning English)
    ok i understand so what you say that all these sentenses are the same with bo diffrences right ???

    and thank you very much for the help
     
  31. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Urbana-Champaign, IL
    Am. English, Pal. Arabic (See profile)
    Which sentences? "I am finished" and "I am done" are the only ones that are acceptable as independent sentences.

    "I have finished..." and "I have done..." are incomplete sentences. "I have finished..." has the meaning of completing an action, but requires an object to explain what it was that was finished. "I have done..." does not mean the same as "I have finished..." It means "I have performed...," for lack of a better word (how do you explain "to do"?) It's עשיתי in Hebrew. "I have finished..." = גמרתי

    Moderators, I realize that this is the English-only forum, but I thought it was helpful to provide the Hebrew translations. That's all I did, by the way, I was not putting anyone at a disadvantage by using a language other than English! :)
     
  32. foxfirebrand

    foxfirebrand Senior Member

    The Northern Rockies
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    "I finished" needs an object, but it can be implied. This is what you did when you supplied it with an antecedent, in the sentences leading up to "I finished." Given that context, I think it sounds fine without the added "it."

    I think roniy's use of the term "exhausting" might be in reference to a completed action-- not being tired.
     
  33. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Urbana-Champaign, IL
    Am. English, Pal. Arabic (See profile)
    Haven't you ever heard anyone say "I'm finished" or "I'm done (for)" to mean "I'm tired" or "I'm worn out"? I know, it's a little far-fetched, but I think it is possible. I personally think he meant "exhausted," but I guess we'll have to wait for him to clarify that.
     
  34. foxfirebrand

    foxfirebrand Senior Member

    The Northern Rockies
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    No, to me "I'm done for" means I'm about to die or be killed. Same with "I'm finished." I can't think of a case where either expression would mean "I'm tired."

    "I'm done in" means "I'm tired," though. Or "all done in." Sounds like something out of a novel, though, and not a real recent one.

    Words do occur to me that also mean "finished," but not that word itself. "I'm completely spent," for example. Oh-- you did mention "I'm worn out," and I agree about that one.
     
  35. roniy Senior Member

    Brooklyn NY
    ISRAEL: Fluent Hebrew ( Speak Russian, Learning English)
    i think that i understand the meaning of the phrases thank you guys
    and i meant tired ....

    thank you all
     
  36. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Urbana-Champaign, IL
    Am. English, Pal. Arabic (See profile)
    Ok, ok, I think I was too hasty. I think you're right. I just realized I wouldn't say either to mean "I'm tired," either. "I'm spent" or "I'm worn out" I would say. I think I may have been thrown off because Roniy suggested that meaning (or at least I thought he did) and I impetuously thought "why not?"

    Nevertheless, dictionary.com does suggest "exhausted, worn out" as a possibility for "done for," although it concedes that it's pretty much archaic and provides an example with a computer.
     
  37. roniy Senior Member

    Brooklyn NY
    ISRAEL: Fluent Hebrew ( Speak Russian, Learning English)
    why not??? i thinks i have heard the phrase"i'm done" like i'm tired...
    or maybe im wrong?:)
     
  38. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Urbana-Champaign, IL
    Am. English, Pal. Arabic (See profile)
    I think if it's possible it's at best very uncommon.
     
  39. Kelly B

    Kelly B Senior Member

    USA English
    I have done... requires an object: I have done my homework today. I am done stands alone, meaning I am finished (which is the topic of this discussion up to this point.)
     
  40. foxfirebrand

    foxfirebrand Senior Member

    The Northern Rockies
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    You're right. But I think "I have done" could be used alone, in the proper context.

    Could a BE speaker weigh in on the use of "I have done," standing alone? Or "I already have done." (with the emphasis on have)

    Seems to me I've heard it said in contexts where an American would say "I have." "Are you gonna be able to do such-and-such today?" "I already have." Would a Brit say "I already have done?"
     
  41. Amityville

    Amityville Senior Member

    France
    English UK
    I have been avoiding this thread, as I never used 'done' like you do. (thought I might be lacking something).
    If someone said "Will you be able to do x today ?" I would say "I did it this morning." Or "I have already done it."
     
  42. Isotta

    Isotta Senior Member

    France
    English, Hodgepodge
    Yes, I have been avoiding this thread, too.

    For me "I am finished" has a different meaning than has "I have finished." In "I am finished" it seems "finished" is trying to modify "I," while it is really the task that is finished. I hear it often, and sounds wrong to me.

    One of the most dissonant (to me) sentences in English is one I hear frequently at restaurants, "Are you finished? Or are you still working on it?" As if to dine were work!

    Does "am finished" sound odd/bad in this context to others?

    Isotta.
     
  43. Amityville

    Amityville Senior Member

    France
    English UK
    "Have you finished" sounds bad to me too in a restaurant context. I will tell you why; because it is too reminiscent of what mums say to their toddlers coping on their own in the loo. It is so strongly associated with that, that if I have people round to eat I cannot say that and always get round it another way. But "are you finished" is often used by analogy with "are you ready (to go)", though I wouldn't say it myself.
     
  44. Isotta

    Isotta Senior Member

    France
    English, Hodgepodge
    Yes, I hear it often, too, but is there a rule against it? I could not find one, but I am away from my reference books and only have google.

    I saw this, which leads me to believe it is acceptable to say "I am finished."

    Isotta.
     
  45. Amityville

    Amityville Senior Member

    France
    English UK
    Your link is an American site, Isotta, so I can't comment.
     
  46. Isotta

    Isotta Senior Member

    France
    English, Hodgepodge
    Well I suppose we'll have to wait for panj on this one.

    Isotta.
     
  47. Amityville

    Amityville Senior Member

    France
    English UK
    But he's Irish, I believe. If you mean, he'll be able to give you a rule about it, maybe so. Beep him !
     
  48. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I'm going to pretend that this thread started today - ignoring all the stuff from September last year:)
    Do not be afraid, roniy, those words would confuse most of us - well, most of us BE speakers.
    The rest of this post will be specific to BE and is about the short sentences roniy listed.
    The sentences "I am done," and "I have done," would be considered wrong in written English.

    But casually, "I'm done," is used by some to mean "I have finished," or "I am so tired that I can go no further."
    As KellyB says, "I have done," really needs an object. I have done - something. It could occur without an object, but not as a sentence on its own.
    Suppose someone asked if you had ever bunjee-jumped from the Clifton Suspension Bridge. You might answer, "I have done, but I swear I'll never be so stupid again." But I really don't think it would be normal for you to answer, "I have done."
    "I am finished," should mean that I am close to my final breath - and always makes me think of "It is finished." It is used, casually, to mean more or less the same as "I have finished".
    "I have finished," is a good sentence in many circumstances.
    Only children learning to speak would say "I finished," as a sentence on its own.

    AARGH - you are lying in wait for me:) I started looking at this before I went to read Brer Rabbit stories upstairs.
     
  49. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Sorry to double post, but I missed these points on the way past first time.
    OOH - I wouldn't go back there:eek:
    I am not at all surprised when the waiting staff come along to my table and ask, "Have you finished?" I would be annoyed if I thought it should be obvious that I hadn't finished, but this happens very frequently if there is food left on the plate.
    Hmmm. See the long post for comment on "I have done." I don't think it works even with emphasis?
    But, "I already HAVE done." I can hear that OK.
    "For goodness sake would you get upstairs and tidy your room!!!"
    "I already HAVE done." Door slams. Teenager gone for the rest of the day:eek: Parent terrified to go near the room to check:D
     
  50. foxfirebrand

    foxfirebrand Senior Member

    The Northern Rockies
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    Thanks, Panj for validating "I already have done." It's something I was sure I've heard cropping up, now and then, in britcoms. In AE we'd omit the "done."

    I don't share the umbrage some feel when a waiter says "are you finished," provided he's waited things out for a decent interval. What if I've finished my meal, but there's food left on my plate? I might want to get on with my evening, and there's the damn waiter over there, standing on ceremony.

    The phrase also smacks of parental oversight to me-- "Not till you've finished what's on your plate." But to me a waitperson functions in loco matris by nature of his/r job.

    "I heard you're still slogging along, working toward your degree." "No, I finished." Reads okay to me.

    And I hate to keep harking back to the KJV, but what about "It is finished?"

    Not trying to be plebean about this, but I just can't hear the dissonance in a simple "I'm done." As I push the half-emptied plate away from me. Or shut the book. Or toss the wrench in the toolbox and slam the hood on my trashy-looking old beater.

    In spite of this show of attitude, I probably mean I've gotten it running again-- if I'd given up on it altogether, I'd've said "I've had it!"

    "Stick a fork in him, he's done."
     

Share This Page