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'At the End' or 'In the End'? | Mastering Grammar

(Last Updated: 6 September 2022)

At the End vs In the End: What Is the Difference?

At the End or In the End: What Is the Difference?

At the end is used when we are talking about the point where something finishes, and it is usually followed by the preposition of:

Everyone applauded at the end of his speech.
Everyone applauded in the end of his speech.

At the end of the course, you will receive a certificate.
In the end of the course, you will receive a certificate.

There will be an award ceremony at the end of the competition.
There will be an award ceremony in the end of the competition.

In the end means 'eventually' or 'after a long period of time'. It is never followed by of:

She battled with cancer for years, but in the end she lost.
She battled with cancer for years, but at the end she lost.

At halftime they were losing 5-0, but in the end they won 7-5.
At halftime they were losing 5-0, but at the end they won 7-5.

✅ After years of gambling, he lost all his money, he lost his job, and in the end, he lost his whole family.
After years of gambling, he lost all his money, he lost his job, and at the end, he lost his whole family.



Examples from the Media

Famous veteran news anchors in North America have given memorable farewells at the end of their long-standing careers. —Toronto Star (2022)

The Independent will cease as a print publication at the end of March. The Independent (2016)

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge couldn't make it in the end. But, just about everyone else was there. —Otago Daily Times (2014)

In the end, reality may force China to compromise on its 'zero-Covid' policy. —South China Morning Post (2022)

Practice

In the following sentences, decide whether the expression should be at the end or in the end.

1. We complained about the dirty food and, at the end/in the end, we did not have to pay for it.

2. There will be a chance to ask questions at the end/in the end of the conference.

3. There is a quiz at the end/in the end of each lesson.

4. John tried many different jobs and at the end/in the end became an English teacher.

5. You will choose your method of payment at the end/in the end of the sign-up process.

Answer Key

1. in the end    2. at the end    3. at the end    4. in the end    5. at the end

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