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The verb acabar

 

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  #1  
Old October 23, 2011, 09:07 PM
wafflestomp wafflestomp is offline
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The verb acabar

I know you can use it with acabar de then an infinitive. But I have heard it a lot in songs/TV broadcasts/regular TV programs and it is definitely not in that form. I can't find a real definitive answer as to what it means other than in its acabar + de form to mean just did something.

Thanks so much!!
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  #2  
Old October 23, 2011, 09:17 PM
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chileno chileno is offline
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I am not sure what you want, but(t)

Yes, I am butting in...

Acabar de comprar
Acabo de comprar
acabas de comprar
acaba de comprar

.
.
.

Get it?
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Old October 23, 2011, 09:45 PM
wafflestomp wafflestomp is offline
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Yeah, I get that part of the usage as I said in my post. But what about when you use it to mean like "finish" or something of that sort? When would you use acabar vs terminar?
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Old October 23, 2011, 10:35 PM
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I know what you mean. I generally hear the word "terminar" more frequently than "acabar". I heard it said "acabados" talking about finishing ub a project at work, but I have also heard "terminados" used as well. So I don't know. I'd be interested to know as well. Good Question!
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Old October 23, 2011, 11:20 PM
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Acabar de + infinitive means to have just finished doing something.
Acaban de comer. = They just finished eating.

Acabar, without the preposition de and infinitive, means 'to finish'.
Acabé lo que me mandaste. = I finished what you told me to do.
Hemos acabado los quehaceres. = We've finished the chores.

The pronominal form is also used, but means 'to run out (of something)'.
Se nos acaba el amor. = Our love is ending.
Se nos acabaron las manzanas. = We're out of apples.

Last edited by Rusty; October 24, 2011 at 08:08 AM.
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Old October 24, 2011, 07:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wafflestomp View Post
Yeah, I get that part of the usage as I said in my post. But what about when you use it to mean like "finish" or something of that sort? When would you use acabar vs terminar?
Rusty already answered.

Now, as to acabar vs terminar.

Acabo de hacer las compras de la semana - I just finished buying this week's groceries.

Terminé de hacer las compras de esta semana - I finished all the buying for this week.
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Old October 24, 2011, 03:42 PM
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"Acabar de" and "terminar de" can be different the way Chileno pointed out, but they are very often used as synonyms. Many people here use "acabar" in a more colloquial mood and "terminar" in a more formal environment:

·Acabó/terminó mi tortura: por fin estoy de vacaciones.
My torture has ended: I'm on holidays at last.

·¿Ya acabaste/terminaste la tarea?
Have you finished your homework?

·No acabamos/terminamos el partido porque empezó a llover.
We didn't finish the game because it started to rain.

·Se les acabó/terminó el dinero antes de que terminaran/acabaran de construir la casa.
They ran out of money before they could finish building the house.

·¡Acaba/termina de comer!
Finish eating now!

·No he acabado/terminado de pagar mi coche.
I haven't finished paying for my car.

·¿Puedes ayudarle a Pedro? Por más que intenta, no acaba/termina de escribir ese informe.
Can you help Pedro? He's trying hard, but he cannot finish writing that report.

·Ya va a ser de noche y todavía no puedo acabar/terminar de cortar el pasto.
It's almost night and I haven't been able to finish mowing the grass yet.



@Caliber: If you're talking about the finishing of a built object, like when a piece of furniture has been painted and polished, "acabado" and "terminado" are also synonyms for a Mexican.

·El acabado/terminado mate de la mesa.
·Los acabados/terminados de la casa.
·El detalle de la ventana está terminado/acabado en madera.
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