Today I came across the use of the auxiliary verb 버리다 to express (among the other things) finally. However as far as I know finally in korean is also the adverb 드디어.

So I wonder for example what is the difference between the two sentences below

  1. 저는 숙제를 드이더 끝났어요
  2. 저는 숙제를 끝나 버렸러요

Do they translate the same? Do they convey different meanings?

1 Answer 1


First, 끝나다 is an intransitive verb, and cannot take an object. The transitive version is 끝내다. So you can either say "제 숙제가 끝났어요" or "저는 숙제를 끝냈어요" but NOT "저는 숙제를 끝났어요".

Now, even though "... 버리다" might be translated to "finally" in some cases, the meaning is almost opposite of "드디어".

드디어 usually describes something that was long anticipated, or an achievement of effort. On the other hand, "... 버리다" usually describes an action that was impulsive, unplanned, irrevocable, or sometimes undesirable.

For example, "세 시에 드디어 잠이 들었다" would imply you were trying to fall asleep, it took a long time (maybe you have trouble falling asleep), and finally, at three, you could fall asleep. "세 시에 잠이 들어 버렸다" would normally mean you didn't actually mean to, but at three, you fell asleep. (Probably you woke up later and said "Dang! I missed the football match again!")

Similarly, "저는 숙제를 드디어 끝냈어요" implies you worked hard to finish your homework, and at last, it's over. "저는 숙제를 끝내 버렸어요" would be appropriate if it was something like "Well, I didn't have anything else to do, so I just decided to spend the time doing the homework, and then before I knew it it's over!"

  • According to my reference (Intermediate Korean Grammar - Byon) the 아/어 버리다 can also denote relief and I think there's the same example I gave. To express difficulty of a finished task the 아/어 내다 seems more appropriate. The 드디어 seems to me just a temporal adverb that express just an action happened at last (like you're telling a sequence of facts and you would end up mentioning the final fact with finally). Commented Oct 1, 2023 at 3:35
  • I can give you the specific reference (page example etc). Commented Oct 1, 2023 at 3:53

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