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I've come across this news about 'music and love are the only truly international languages', and found this:

"Towards the very end, the video gets a little shaky as even the person filming starts tapping their foot."

Why use the very end? The end of something means there is no more.
Is there a difference in meaning between the end and then very end?

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  • Sure. Why not..?
    – user3169
    Commented Mar 14, 2016 at 1:43
  • @user3169 It is used to emphasize?
    – Student
    Commented Mar 14, 2016 at 1:44
  • Yes it is correct, it means just very close to the ending, more so than just "the end". Commented Mar 14, 2016 at 5:58
  • Useful: ell.stackexchange.com/questions/13454/…
    – Maulik V
    Commented Mar 14, 2016 at 7:04
  • Also useful: ell.stackexchange.com/q/84155 There are better questions out there about the strange ways very is used in English. I don't think this question should be re-opened even with Peter's edits.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 16:52

1 Answer 1

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the very end

is grammatically correct

We watched the movie until the very end

that is until there was no more movie left.

Very is used to emphasize the closeness to the end-of-the-end, as opposed to the-beginning-of-the-end.

For example, a rope has an exact end, however it can be referred to as

the end of the rope
the very end of the rope
the bitter end of the rope

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  • Erm... the bitter end of the rope is not idiomatic. Only time-based referents can have a "bitter end". Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 15:00
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    @fumbleFingers: The bitter end, when used about rope, is actually a naval term used to refer to the last six fathoms of an anchor rope. This was often painted bright colours to make sure that sailors didn't carry on letting out anchor rope and let go of the end, losing anchor and rope.
    – JavaLatte
    Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 15:04
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    Bitter End. There is also a nightclub on Bleecker St in NYC called "The Bitter End".
    – Peter
    Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 15:13
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    @JavaLatte: Oh wow! I didn't know that's apparently where the cliche came from in the first place: A bitt on a ship is something that you can wind a rope round; the loops of the rope are bitters, and the bitter end is the end of this rope. I'll leave my first comment as enduring testament to my [previous] ignorance. Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 15:14
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    You can say "they watched the film to the bitter end" even if the film had a happy ending: when I was young, I was very confused by this.
    – JavaLatte
    Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 15:20

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