Monday, June 18, 2007

¿fines o fin?

I'm puzzled by the use of fines (plural) when I would expect to use fin (singular) in the phrase a fines de (at the end of).

I checked my dictionary and it gives two examples:-

a fines de junio = at the end of June

a fin de mes = at the end of the month.

Can anyone explain when you use fin and when do you use fines? Why is the plural used when the meaning seem to be singular ?

- Chris Butler.

Hi Chris, nice question.

I don't know if there's a rule for this... but I would say that we* usually say "a fines de" + the name of the month when we're speaking of a month other than the one it is right now. Else, we say "a fin de mes".

The same goes for the year or the week, but in these cases it's more common to use "final" and "finales". We say "a final de la semana" but "a finales de la próxima semana:. And "a final de año" but "a finales del 2008".

For example, "Estrenarán la película a finales del 2008" pero "Estrenarán la película a final de año".

*This is how Guatemalans speak.

- Karin

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