If you’ve ever told someone finito in Spanish and you weren’t intending to say “finite”, you have to read this!
As you read this blog post, you’ll self-identify with one of the following three camps:
- Camp 1 is the “What; finito isn’t how you say finished in Spanish!!!???” group.
- Camp 2 is the “I’ve never felt good about saying finito, but I admit I’ve said it once or twice…it just rolled off my tongue so easily” group.
- Camp 3 is the “Hmm…I’ve never been finished with anything in Spanish, but it’s nice to know in case I ever get there” group.
If I’ve been fortunate enough to have had a class with you, you know I love cognates. I even have fun making up words on occasion to get a laugh but, alas, finito is not the cognate you’re looking for.
I was working with a very proficient Spanish speaker the other day and I was reminded about this extremely common mistake when trying to communicate the idea of being finished or done in Spanish. I thought I would work it out for you here:
One verb and its participle you have to know: Terminar = to finish, Terminado(a) = finished. Check out how you can use terminar and terminado in the medical context:
- Please finish all of your medication even if you feel better before it’s gone. = Favor de terminar toda la medicina aunque se sienta mejor antes de que se acabe.
- Okay that’s it, we’re done = Bueno es todo, estamos terminados
Another verb you’ll find useful: Acabar(se) = to run out, end, or finish. Check out how you can use acabar and acabarse in the medical context:
- When the medicine ran out, the patient called the doctor. = Cuando se acabó la medicina, el paciente llamó al doctor.
- The treatment ends (finishes) next week = El tratamiento acaba la próxima semana.
What does finito mean anyway?
- Finito means finite in Spanish. Use finito when you want to talk philosophically about your numbered days here on earth (morbid, I know sorry), or a limited range of options. If you want to talk about space or time, use the word infinito :).
- Finito can also be the diminutive of fino meaning “thin” or “fine”. This might be used when you’re talking about a small thread, a fine wine, or those special fine-tip Sharpie pens that you buy for yourself and your kids always steal from you and you can never find them again – argh!
2 thoughts on “Finished in Spanish… ¿Finito, Completado, Terminado?”
I was wondering about the usage of acabo de? Is that totally different than acabarse? I always heard it to be used for “just” as in I just had it-Acabo de tenerlo or I just finished-Acabo de terminar. But when I look at that now, it doesn’t make sense to me. Can you comment on that?
Hey Karen, you’ve got “acabo de (verb)” just right – it means “I just (verb)”. ex. Acabo de comer el desayuno = I just ate breakfast. ex. Ella acaba de llegar = She just arrived.
So yes, the meaning is totally different from acabarse which is “to finish”, “run out”, “be over”.
Great question! Keep up the good work :),