- At the end is commonly used as a prepositional phrase that refers to a specific time or location.
- In the end is a phrase that is synonymous to “in conclusion,” or “ultimately.”
- ○ His house is located at the end of the street.
- ○ In the end, I decided on the bouquet of tulips. .
Is It “At The End” or “In The End”?
At the end and in the end are common phrases. But do they mean the same thing? After all, the only difference between them are the prepositions.
Yes, there’s a difference. Below, we’ll tell you when you should use at the end and in the end.
When To Use “At The End”
At the end is most commonly used as a prepositional phrase that refers to a specific time or location. Keep in mind that when used this way, at the end is always followed by of.
At the end of the show, we got up and left.
In the example above, at the end helps indicate a specific time which was when the movie ended.
We were told that the bakery is at the end of the shopping plaza.
In this example, at the end specifies a location.
The prepositional phrase at the end is followed by of + a noun, even if it’s abstract.
I am at the end of my patience.
In the example above, at the end helps disclose that the person’s patience has come to an end.
Remember that you can use at the end correctly if you use it the same way you would at the beginning.
I was at the beginning of the line.
I was at the end of the line.
When To Use “In The End”
In the end is an idiomatic expression that can mean “ultimately,” “when everything is considered,” or “in conclusion.”
In the end, we decided on a destination wedding.
They tried their best and in the end, they made a big difference.
In the end, the experiment was inconclusive.
It’s important to note that the expression at the end of the day is an expression that is similar to meaning to in the end. Consider the following sentence:
At the end of the day, we did what was best for the team.
In the sentence above, at the end of the day may not be literally referring to the end of a day. Instead, it’s being used as an idiom that means “in the end” or “ultimately.”
In the end, we did what was best for the team.
“At The End” vs. “In The End”
Whether you’re an English language learner or a native speaker, the distinctions between at the end and in the end can be a little hard to follow. Just try to remember this:
- Use at the end when you’re referring to the end of something or want to indicate a specific time or place.
- Use in the end when you want to refer to the outcome of events or disclose a result.
Another foolproof way of using these expressions correctly is by making LanguageTool your writing assistant. This intelligent text editor can inform you when you’ve used an incorrect preposition and can also correct spelling mistakes.