I'm done the dishes


New Member
Canadian English
This is a phrase that I grew up using to describe the state of being finished doing the dishes. I have since been (mostly) convinced that it is grammatically incorrect, but I wonder in what regions it is or isn't used. Can anyone tell me where they have or haven't heard this?
  • Metztli

    Senior Member
    Mexico Spanish / English

    Yes, for me it is grammatically incorrect. It should be "I've done the dishes" or "I'm done with the dishes" is also common. But, if where you live is usual and people understand you... there you go!



    New Member
    Canadian English
    I'm not sure where I got it from . . . I guess that's what I'm trying to figure out. People do understand it, and mostly don't seem to recognize it as grammatically incorrect until they've heard it a lot of times. I'm just unsure that I've ever heard anyone else use it.


    New Member
    This is an old thread, but I hope my answer might still be of interest to someone:

    This construction is very normal in Canadian English, while most people from the US or Britain will find it ungrammatical. The same goes for "I'm finished X", as in "I'm finished my homework", which in my experience Americans find about as bad as "I'm done the dishes."

    The judgement that these are fine sentences is very robust among the Canadian speakers I've checked with --- they are usually VERY surprised to learn that Americans can't say the same things.

    As a note, "I'm done the dishes" doesn't mean the same thing as "I'm done WITH the dishes", but instead entails: "the dishes are done". I'm not sure if "be done" means exactly the same thing as "have done", though.

    Note that you wouldn't necessarily notice this difference while speaking to Canadians, because in the third person singular "s/he+is" contracts to the same form as "s/he+has".