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To convey that someone arrives at the end of his life or simply dies, which sentence is more correct or more common? I prefer the first.

His life finishes.

His life is finished.

If the second one is legitimate, can I assume he is responsible for the action finish (i.e., interpret the sentence as he finishes his life)? If so, what about the following sentence?

I'm done grading the exam papers.

Who is responsible for the action do?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

In his life finishes, finish is used as an intransitive verb. In his life is finished, finished is used as an adjective. Both are correct. Neither means he is the performer of the action.

In I am done, done is used as an adjective.

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If the argument finished and done are both adjectives holds, it solves my problem. –  Terry Li Jan 24 '12 at 15:44

You've expressed a wish to use the word "finished", but it's not the word a native speaker would use.

More common phrases are:

His life is over.

His life has ended.

If you want to convey that the person is responsible for the action of ending their life, you could use:

He has ended his life.

Be careful - that means suicide.

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My suggestion would be to use "end" E.g:

His life ended

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