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What is the difference between 'finished' and 'completed'?

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Dilpreet Kaur


( 5 months ago )

What is the difference between 'finished' and 'completed', as both words gives the same meaning?

Ex 1: He finished his homework.

Ex 2: He completed his homework.

And also how or where to use these words?

Dictionary Reference:

Completed: Finish making or doing.

Finished: Brought to an end; completed.

As for me both sentences have the same meaning. So is there any real difference between them?

Sarah Jones


( 5 months ago )

In many contexts, the meanings are pretty much the same, but you might hear finished more often than completed in casual conversation. For example:

I've finished my shopping.
She finished the song.
He finished the race.

I could use completed in those sentences – the meaning wouldn't change, but the register might sound off.

The word completed can convey some sense of accomplishment. In the context of a race, it might work when the race is a major achievement:

He completed his first marathon last year.

Homework, though, is not really a major achievement, so I think you'd hear finished more often in casual conversation:

“Joey, where are you going? Did you finish your homework?”

That said, you might see completed in more formal contexts, such as a paper on education, or a course syllabus:

Students must complete six homework assignments during the semester.

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