My husband always corrects me when I say "I'm done... (with whatever it is I'm doing.)"
He says that proper grammar requires you to say "I have finished." As Saying "I'm done" refers only to the "done-ness' of food.

Help me!

  • I would have thought "I'm done ..." is as good or bad as "I'm finished ..."
    – Henry
    Jan 3, 2015 at 21:59
  • Nah, you're good.
    – 1252748
    Jan 3, 2015 at 22:02
  • 1
    Yeah, I had a friend who always said, 'Potatoes are done.' Ask him, "Do you know what I mean? Is this informal conversation? Get over it. I'm done arguing."
    – Jim
    Jan 3, 2015 at 22:11
  • 3
    Pedantic grammar cultists who foist inaccurate corrections upon others are the worst. Jan 3, 2015 at 23:02

4 Answers 4


According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, "done" has had "finished" as a meaning since the early 13th century, so I think you're on pretty solid ground with it.


I'm afraid your husband appears to be a linguistic snob. "I'm done [X-ing]" is a normal colloquial expression, at least in the USA.

Incidentally, there is a distinct transatlantic divide in the prevalence of "I'm done [X-ing]". It is far more common in the USA than it is in Britain. (Your profile doesn't say where you live, but my starting assumption is that it is somewhere in America.)


"I have finished" is simply a more proper way to say "I'm done".

You could say I have finished in front of people of superiority, like your boss or parents, etc.

I'd suggest to keep on saying "I'm done" in front of your husband just to tick him off, have some fun. x)


What he's probably experienced was that the first time he heard the word done was in food. Because of this, he always thinks 'food' as relating to done even though that's not the case. Explain to him that for the average (estimated 99%) of americans done is another word for finished.

They're synonyms.

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