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Can I use "at the beginning/at the end" without "of something" in a conversation that the listener knows exactly what I'm talking about?

For example: If a student asks me to go for a drink, should I say "at the end" or "in the end" instead of "at the end of the session"?

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    This would only work if the "of something" was already understood by both parties. – Davo Apr 18 '17 at 13:02
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"In the end" is synonymous to finally and is often used without a trailing phrase.

"At the end" however, is usually followed by "of" (if not written, then at least implied). Using it just by itself seems incorrect. As @Davo correctly pointed out in his comment above, if "of something" is already understood by both parties, then we may skip writing it explicitly after "at the end". That been said, even in this case, we are not using "at the end" just by itself.

[It would be great if someone could elaborate on this more technically]

You may find this link helpful.

  • I watched a movie, and stayed for the credits at the end. – Barmar Apr 18 '17 at 19:16
  • @Barmar in this example, "of something" is already understood by the listener (and implied by the speaker). Please see Davo's comment above. – satnam Apr 19 '17 at 4:30
  • That's the point -- it isn't incorrect to use it by itself when the reference is understood. Isn't that essentially what the question asks -- are there times when you can leave it out, and what are those times? – Barmar Apr 19 '17 at 4:35
  • You are right. I've highlighted this point in the answer. Thanks! – satnam Apr 19 '17 at 4:44

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