'At the end' or 'In the end'


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Thread: 'At the end' or 'In the end'

  1. #1

    'At the end' or 'In the end'

    I believe both of these can be correct (?) but was wondering which would be right in the below?

    What happens at the end?

    What happens in the end?

    For context, the thing which is 'ending' is life itself

  2. #2
    To me, they have a different feel. "At the end" is more about straightforward endings - what happens at the end of the story, or the film or the book, or when the lights go out. It's an everyday question. "In the end" has a finality to it: what happens when everything is over, when there's nothing else. The latter has scope and gravitas to it, imo.


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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by luckyscars View Post
    I believe both of these can be correct (?) but was wondering which would be right in the below?

    What happens at the end?

    What happens in the end?

    For context, the thing which is 'ending' is life itself
    As you say, neither are wrong, but in the context you state I reckon 'at the end' would work better, because we tend to say 'at the end of life'.


  4. #4
    I second bdcharles. If you're talking about the instant of death, "at" might work better, but if you're continuing that sentiment beyond death itself, "in the end" has more of the continuation and philosophical vibe to it. "At" has more of a mile marker feel to it--a literal end of the road.
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  6. #6
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    In the end — according to The Beatles.

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