At the end vs In the end

At the end (of something) = at the time when something ends. For example:

at the end of the month
at the end of the film
at the end of January
at the end of the course
at the end of the game
at the end of the concert

  • I’m going away at the end of January / at the end of the month.
  • At the end of the concert, there was great applause.
  • The players shook hands at the end of the game.

You cannot say “in the end of…”

The opposite of at the end (of…) is at the beginning (of…):

  • I’m going away at the beginning of April. (not in the beginning of)

In the end = finally

We use in the end when we want to say what the final result of a situation was:

  • We had a lot of problems with our car. We sold it in the end.
  • He got more and more angry. In the end he just walked out of the room.
  • Alan couldn’t decide where to go for his holidays. He didn’t go anywhere in the end.

The opposite of in the end is usually at first:

  • At first we didn’t get on very well, but in the end we became really good friends.

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