Posted by: Jack Henry | April 19, 2017

Complete vs. Finished

One of our tech writers sent me this joke about the words complete vs. finished. (Thanks, Todd!) He also thought it might be good to discuss the two words. First, the joke:

There is a subtle but important difference between the words "complete" and "finished."

When you marry the right one, you are complete.

When you marry the wrong one, you are finished.

And if the right one catches you with the wrong one, you are completely finished.

Whether you are a grammar guru or not, you can see the fun created by using these two words, which are both sometimes adjectives and sometimes verbs (and at the very end, one becomes an adverb). If you aren’t into grammar, you still might appreciate a little bit more information on complete vs. finished. Here are some edited definitions from Merriam-Webster since the full definitions and examples are several pages long.

Complete (adjective)

1a : possessing all necessary parts, items, components, or elements : not lacking anything necessary : entire, perfect

b : having all four sets of floral organs [KC – Woo hoo!]

2: brought to an end or to a final or intended condition <a complete period of time><a complete act>concluded, completed

3 of a person : possessed of all necessary, usual, or typical qualities, habits, or accomplishments

4 a : fully realized : carried to the ultimate : thorough

b : absolute

Finished (adjective)

1a: brought to conclusion : ended, completed

b : processed

c of an animal : fattened especially for the market

d : in a hopeless condition : defeated, wounded, or ailing beyond hope of recovery : done for

2: possessed of, brought to, or displaying the highest degree of skill, polish, or excellence : marked by the highest quality : consummate, perfected

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

Symitar Documentation Services

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