Is "we are finished" grammatically correct? I thought it would be more correct to say "We have finished".


2 Answers 2


Saying I/we are finished implies that the person in question is in a state of being finished with some task. It is referring to the person and not specifically the task.

I/we have finished refers to the task itself being finished or complete, and perhaps the person has moved on to another task or is waiting for something to occur.

  • "I/we are finished" could also mean that "I/we" are doomed in the sense of life finishing. Sep 10, 2014 at 16:38
  • yes, but that seems to be outside the context of the question as that answer was already posted and not accepted.
    – KnightHawk
    Sep 10, 2014 at 17:23

There is a difference in meaning, at least in idiomatic usage.

We have finished indicates that a task is complete. We have no more to do.

We are finished is often used to convey a feeling such as we are doomed or we have lost. There is nothing more that we are able to do.

  • 2
    Not necessarily. If I want to indicate I've finished a task right at the moment at which I've finished it, I generally say I am finished.
    – user85526
    Aug 11, 2014 at 14:31
  • 1
    There are two constructions using be here. 'The window was broken' might be describing an event ('broken' past participle) or state ('broken' participial adjective). There is still the odd lingering usage of the perfect formed using be as the auxiliary. Aug 11, 2014 at 14:39
  • 1
    It may be a British vs American usage thing @Andrew. I've never heard someone say I have finished to let someone know that he's finished. The question is are you finished? and the answer is yes; I am finished.
    – user85526
    Aug 11, 2014 at 14:40
  • 1
    Aha. Yes; quite probably, @George. BrE might possibly ask "Are you finished?" but the answer always uses have.
    – Andrew Leach
    Aug 11, 2014 at 14:41
  • 1
    @EdwinAshworth Omit pronoun? am finished with the,have finished with the,have finished the
    – SrJoven
    Aug 11, 2014 at 19:48

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