Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language Learners Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for speakers of other languages learning English. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'd like to know the difference between these three expressions. What I want to express is that yesterday was my last day of work for this year and I have two weeks off work from today. Which of these should I say:

"I got all my work done for this year."
"I finished all my work for this year."
"I'm done with all my work for this year."

I can think of these sentences for what I want to say, but it's very difficult to understand the nuance or the difference of each sentence. Could you explain that, please?

share|improve this question
2  
Afaik, I got something done, and I finished something have the same meaning. The first (got it done) is more colloquial. Saying I'm done with it usually means you don't want to do it anymore, whether the work was done or not. (Please also wait for opinions from native speakers.) –  Damkerng T. Dec 21 '13 at 8:30
    
Just in passing.. I'm thinking of Emerson's sentence "Finish each day and be done with it". –  Laure Dec 21 '13 at 9:51
1  
You could also say: *"I've no more work until next year" –  Mari-Lou A Dec 22 '13 at 1:21
add comment

2 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

What I want to express is that yesterday was my last day of work for this year and I have two weeks off work from today...

I think all three of your sentences pretty much say the same thing, but none of them quite say what you are trying to express.

Let's start with the sentence "I'm done with all my work this year." To me, that sounds as though you had a certain amount of work assigned to you for the year – maybe it was to build 400 widgets on an assembly line, or teach 15 training courses for a company, or keep three accounts balanced – and now all that work is done.

Having all your work done for the year is not quite the same thing as being done with work for the year.

I'm done with all my work for the year.

means there is no more work to be done. You inbox is empty, all your annual goals are met. If you walked into the office on Monday, you would have nothing to do but twiddle your thumbs and stare at the walls. On the other hand:

I'm done working for the rest of the year.

means that you will be vacationing until January. Yes, there may still be emails to answer, reports to write, widgets to build, or sales quotas to be met, but all of that will have to wait until you get back to work.

The three sentences you gave all sound like they mean "There is no more work for me to do; I've finished everything, and I won't need to work again until January." They have a feel of, "Mission accomplished." I wouldn't expect a salesperson who works off of commissions to ever say that – even if quotas or goals have been met, there's always one more sale that could be made. However, a professor at a university might say that, once all the exams have been graded and the final grades have been turned in.

However, being done with work because you're scheduled to take two weeks off is a different matter. You realize there's always more work that could be done, you just won't be there to do it for two more weeks. If that's what your trying to communicate, I'd use one of these instead:

I'm all done working until next year.
I will be off work until next year. (or, more briefly, I'm off till next year).
I won't be coming in for the rest of the year.

share|improve this answer
1  
+1 Interesting how adding my changes it: "done with my work" vs "done with work" –  Jim Dec 21 '13 at 10:24
    
You explained one of the most difficult usages to me very clearly. Actually in order to undestand what you wrote, I had to read several times, but now everything is clear. Thank you very much. –  tennis girl Dec 22 '13 at 0:19
1  
If it were me speaking I'd say: "As of yesterday, I'm on holiday! Yippee!" –  Mari-Lou A Dec 22 '13 at 1:20
add comment

To me, as an AmE speaker, they are all saying the same thing. I have been trying to think what is different about them in terms of nuance. So I will take out all the unnecessary words, and change my work to it.

  • I got all my work done -> I got it done.
  • I finished all my work -> I finished it.
  • I'm done with all my work -> I'm done.

The only difference that I can see is that the first two phrases need a direct object. The last one stands alone. Everything else is extra.

The least colloquial phrase is, I finished it. It's truthful without any embellishments.

I got it done, is more colloquial/informal.

I'm done, sounds quite finite. It's to the point, it's straightforward, maybe a tiny bit abrupt, but not at all off-putting. A bit colloquial.

There's nothing else that set these three phrases apart. They all mean the same thing: your work is over for the year.

I'd say, good job on finding three ways of saying the exact same thing.

If someone has a different take, esp. BrE, I hope they will also answer.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.