The first two sentences are from one of the ESL textbooks.

Have you finished with this?
No, I'm still drinking it.

Macmilian Dictionary says that finish with means "you have stopped using it". In this sentence, I think "Have you finished this?" works. Another example is the following:

I've finished my meal.

I've finished with my meal.

Could you explain the difference?

How about this sentence?

I've finished using my camera.

Can I also say, "I've finished with my camera"?

I've never used finish with. That's why I'm not sure how to use it.

Could you possibly give me some examples using finish with?


1 Answer 1


The two uses are slightly different:

  1. "I've finished activity" means you've completed the activity - "I've finished using my camera".

  2. "I've finished with object" means you're no longer using the object, and it's now free for someone else to use - "I've finished with my camera".

So, in "I've finished my meal", my meal is the act of eating dinner, whereas in "I've finished with my meal", my meal is the food you were eating, but which can now be disposed of.1

As a side note, there's a colloquial usage "I've finished with person" in British English, which means "I've ended my romantic relationship with person".

1 Either by being thrown away, or by someone else finishing it for you :-)

  • Thank you, but I'm still not sure. If it means either being thrown away or someone else finishing it for you, it might sound a bit rude for a waiter to say this, I mean, the first sentence. I think it should be "Have you finished this?" Aug 20, 2013 at 8:35
  • "I have finished my sandwich" probably means the speaker has eaten the entire sandwich; "I am finished with my sandwich" probably means some of it is left uneaten. In a restaurant context, "Are you finished with this?", "Are you finished?", "Have you finished eating?" would all be ways to confirm that the addressee does not intend to eat any more of the food on their plate. "Have you finished your food?" would be a bit odd because it suggests that the speaker is unsure whether all of the food has been eaten.
    – nschneid
    Sep 7, 2021 at 4:40

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