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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What's the Difference ? - 7

in the end / at the end / at last

At the end - when you use the preposition 'at' you are thinking about a specific point in time or a particular place.
At the end of the book they get married.
I'll wait for you at the end of the street.
I get paid at the end of the month.
There are also some set expressions using 'at the end':
At the end of the day
There's light at the end of the tunnel
At the end of one's tether
In the end - is used to mean finally or eventually, after something has been thought about, planned or discussed a lot.
We were thinking about going to Switzerland, but in the end we went to Austria.
In the end all that matters is that you're happy.
Everything will be alright in the end.
At (long) last - is used to mean finally when something ends or happens after a lot of waiting or working.
I've finished my essay at last!
Look, it's stopped raining at last!
At long last the government is starting to listen to our problems.

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