At the end of most movies I see the phrase "The end". Obviously the meaning of "end" here is clear, but I don't see a purpose for the "the" before it.

Would you elaborate why it goes before "end"?

  • In the end, it all comes down to – anongoodnurse Feb 13 '14 at 21:39
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    If you put it as "End The", it just wouldn't make sense. – Oldcat Feb 13 '14 at 22:19
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    @Oldcat I didn't tell , put It after "end" , I looking for a purpose for the "the" before it. – JoyeBright Feb 14 '14 at 10:45
  • So that it's not an imperative verb? – AmI Nov 1 '18 at 18:36

The article is there simply because it is the end of the movie. The rest is convention, plain and simple. In signs, headlines, labels, telegraphic style etc., articles can be dropped alright, so there is no reason for it not to be a simple "End" other than tradition. Note how French does say simply "Fin" and everyone is okay with it. It could just as well have been the other way round, French having "La fin" and English having "End". Just a historic coincidence.

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  • La fin. My French is poor, but I remember that one (precisely because it's a tricky one as le fin does appear in some phrases or before a noun because the the adjectival fin is being used with it). – Jon Hanna Feb 13 '14 at 21:38
  • I'll add that Italian films use Fine, although on rare occasion I've seen La Fine used. – David M Feb 13 '14 at 21:59
  • German movies tend to just say Ende instead of Das Ende (the latter would be really awkward). – Frerich Raabe Feb 14 '14 at 9:02

Why write anything at all ("End" or "The End") at the end of a film? It's basically a tradition for storytelling, so it makes sense at the end of a film that tells a story. IOW, it's not just about films -- open any fairy tale:

"Once upon a time..."
"The end."
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    Isn't it: "And they lived happily ever after"? – Mari-Lou A Feb 14 '14 at 0:57
  • @Mari-LouA: Sometimes. The end. – Drew Feb 14 '14 at 3:07

If you were talking about a pencil there would be two ends, a blunt end and a sharp end. Thus it would be ambiguous to refer to 'the end' of a pencil.

But as there is ultimately only one 'end' of a film, I suppose we use 'the end', so that no one is mistaken into thinking that just a subsidiary 'end' has been reached and hence think there is more to come.

Having said that I think French films end with the single word 'FIN'.

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Because there is one end. It is the end. Not an end, of which, in the context, there might be many (unless it's a choose your own adventure book). It's not simply, End. Unless it is, but probably would be done in French for a flourish, fin. But the common usage is "The End."

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