8

I saw both verbs here and there, and both seems to mean "to finish" (according to Google translate).

What are the differences between them?

8

끝나다 is an intransitive verb meaning that something has ended 'of its own accord' - e.g. 영화가 끝났다 - the film has finished.

끝내다 is a transitive verb meaning someone has finished something - e.g. 그 일을 끝냈다 - (someone) finished that job.

This is a somewhat general pattern when using -나다 and -내다: -나다 is used when something happens on its own, or we aren't talking about the cause; -내다 is used when something is made to happen.

2
  • To make sure I understood: 일이 끝나요 - The work is finished. 일을 끝내요 - Someone [probably me, or someone I am speaking about, depending on the context] finished the work. – Taladris Jul 7 '16 at 8:52
  • @Taladris that's about right - your examples don't use '았' to show the past tense, but that might be implied. While 여섯 시에 일이 끝나요 would literally mean "work finishes at 6 o'clock", if you are talking about your work it might still be translated as I finish work at 6 as that's more natural English. – topo Reinstate Monica Jul 8 '16 at 7:02
1

Maybe this rule can be helpful: (1) 이/가 + 끝났다, (2) 을/를 + 끝냈다.

Add: 내가 끝냈다 is a correct sentence, because actually the sentence has an implied, invisible object. For example, 내가 (공사를) 끝냈다.

4
  • Please elaborate on how the rule works with more usage examples. We don't encourage one-liner answers. – user7 Jul 8 '16 at 5:12
  • This is a good additional point - you could link it to the way that a sentence with '이/가' but no 을/를 is likely to contain an intransitive verb, while a sentence with 을/를 would have a transitive verb. However I think you can still say '내가 끝냈다', meaning I finished (it), with an implied object. – topo Reinstate Monica Jul 8 '16 at 6:27
  • 1
    @topomorto Thanks for your comment. I will add the information about implied objects. – JSong Jul 8 '16 at 6:29
  • Do let me know when you edit your answer with more details. – user7 Jul 8 '16 at 7:31

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.