"I have repaired my car." This means that the car is working again.

"I have been repairing my car". This means I have been doing repairs, but it doesn't mean the car is working.

"I have finished repairing my car".

Does this mean the car is repaired and in working order again or does it mean I stopped doing the activity? I am confused.


"Finishing something" means the task is complete. In this case, yes, it means the repair is complete, and the car is in working order.

If you intend to say that you stopped the work before the repair is complete, you could say one of the following, depending on the situation.

  • I paused my car repair until my next paycheck.
  • I'm holding off on finishing the car repair for now; original Mustang parts are hard to find.
  • I quit working on my car for the night, I'll start again tomorrow.
  • I bailed on helping my brother repair his car; I think I'm just getting in his way.

This last one is slightly different, in that you are "bailing" on someone (your brother), not "bailing" on the car repair itself.

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    Or 'I've finished repairing the engine, but the axles ae sill bent' - the engine works; the car doesn't. – simon at rcl Nov 19 '19 at 16:51
  • I'm done repairing my car can be said (especially if you continue with ...I just can't get it to work) with the opposite meaning, if I'm not mistaken. Would the sentence I've finished working on my car necessarily bear the interpretation laid out in the answer above? If it's possible to continue it with I just can't get it to work, another interpretation is possible. – user3395 Nov 19 '19 at 21:04
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    @userr2684291 Unless specifically clarified or contradicted like you suggest, a listener is, in my opinion, going to interpret "the repairs are finished" to mean that they were finished successfully. Just like "the house painters are finished" is, without clarification, going to be heard to mean "the house painters successfully completed their task" and not "the painters made some progress but left their job unfinished." – BradC Nov 19 '19 at 21:21

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