How to say “end up doing”: Italian grammar lesson 200


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Unlock the secrets of the Italian verb finire! This guide will teach you how to conjugate it in the present and past, and master its use with different prepositions for nuanced meanings. 🇮🇹✨

  • Conjugation is key: Get to grips with finire in the present tense (io finisco) and the past (io ho finito) to accurately talk about finishing actions.
  • Direct objects: Use finire with a direct object for a straightforward “finish something” (Hai finito la torta?). No extra fluff needed!
  • Preposition “di”: Pair finire di with an infinitive to express “finishing doing something” (abbiamo finito di lavorare). It’s a subtle but important touch.
  • Ending up: Combine finire with con, per, or a to convey the idea of “ending up doing something” – a twist that can add drama to your story!
  • Choose wisely: The preposition you pick with finire can change the game. Whether it’s finire per, finire con, or finire a, each sets a different scene.
  • Express consequences: Use finire a with the auxiliary essere to highlight the outcome of actions, often with a hint of regret (Finirai a fare l’elemosina).
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What is finire in Italian?

The verb finire follows the third regular conjugation pattern –ire and, in its transitive use, takes the verb avere (to have) as an auxiliary.

Have a look at the tables below, in which you will see the conjugation of the verb finire (to end or finish) in presente (present) and passato prossimo (present perfect tense).

Presente Passato prossimo
io finisco io ho finito
tu finisci tu hai finito
lui finisce lui ha finito
noi finiamo noi abbiamo finito
voi finite voi avete finito
loro finiscono loro hanno finito

 finire per italian

How to use the verb finire with prepositions?

The verb finire can be used on its own with a direct object or with different prepositions, namely di, per, con, and a.

Depending on the preposition that follows finire, the meaning of the verb can change.

Let’s have a look at some examples:

Hai finito la torta?

Have you finished the cake?

Finalmente abbiamo finito di lavorare.

We finally finished working.

  • Finire + con, per, a: To end up doing something

Finirete per non passare gli esami se continuate così.

You’ll end up not passing your exams if you go on like that.

Finirai con l’essere licenziato se non parli con il tuo capo.

You’ll end up getting fired if you don’t talk to your boss.

Sono finita a fare la cameriera in un ristorante di Londra.

I ended up being a waitress in a restaurant in London.

As you can see, the verb changes its meaning depending on the preposition it goes with, so always be careful which one you choose!

end up italian

How to use to end up doing?

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As we’ve explained above, to say to end up doing something we use the construction finire per + infinitive, finire con + definite article +infinitive, orfinire a + infinitive.

  • Finire per and finire con + definite article, have the same meaning but the first version is probably more used in spoken Italian. They both translate as to end up + -ing verb.

Sono certo che finiranno per divorziare.

I am sure they will end up getting a divorce.

Probabilmente finiremo con il trasferirci all’estero.

We will probably end up moving abroad.

  • Finire a is used to express a certain situation that has arisen as a consequence, generally negative, of a previous action or behavior. It can translate as end up doing something or find oneself doing something.

The difference in meaning is slight, but it exists. This construction is used with the auxiliary essere (to be) and not avere like the others.

Finirai a fare l’elemosina se non trovi un lavoro.

You will end up begging if you do not find a job.

Siamo finiti a dover chiedere un prestito per aggiustare la macchina.

We found ourselves having to ask for a loan to fix the car.

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FAQs on How to say “end up doing”: Italian grammar lesson 200

What is the verb to finish in Italian?

"Finire" is an Italian irregular verb meaning to finish and is one of the 100 most used Italian verbs. It is ranked 19th on the list, making it a fairly commonly used verb in the Italian language.

Does "finire" take "essere" or "avere"?

Verbs such as "cambiare" and "finire" can take either the auxiliary verbs "essere" or "avere", depending on their grammatical usage. Consequently, it is important to know the function of the verb in order to determine the correct auxiliary.

Italian word of the day
Finalmente abbiamo finito! Sono proprio contento.
Finally we’re done! I’m really glad.
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