Difference between finalmente and alla fine

What’s the difference between finalmente and alla fine in Italian (not to mention infine)? Are there any situations in which you need to use one or the other? Are they interchangeable?

In this lesson, we will look at how to use these words with the help of many audio recordings and example sentences. Read on to learn all you need to know!

difference between finalmente and alla fine in italian - let's start - iniziamo - athlete woman running

Finalmente and alla fine in Italian

How do you use finalmente in Italian?

Finalmente is an adverb used to express relief and satisfaction at something you’ve been waiting for, similar to the English expression at last!

At last, finally

For example, you could say…

Eccoti finalmente!
There you are at last!

Finalmente ci incontriamo! Ho aspettato a lungo questo momento.
We finally meet! I’ve been waiting for this moment for so long.

Finalmente è primavera!
It’s spring at last!

blooming twig of a cherry tree

How do you use alla fine in Italian?

Alla fine doesn’t convey relief. It’s an emotionally neuter adverb that simply says that whatever action is happening was accomplished last. It translates the English adverbs eventually and finally.

Alla fine
Eventually, finally

For example, you could say…

Alla fine troveremo una soluzione a questo problema.
We’ll eventually find a solution to this problem.

Alla fine Tom trovò un lavoro che gli piaceva.
Tom eventually found a job that he liked.

Se mangi molto, alla fine ingrasserai.
If you eat a lot, you’ll eventually get fat.

lots of fast food

Alla fine can also be followed by the preposition di in the expression alla fine di, which means “at the end of”. This is often used to describe the farthest point of something, such as the end of a corridor or a movie.

Devi mettere un punto interrogativo alla fine di una domanda.
You need to put a question mark at the end of a question.

Vengo pagato alla fine del mese.
I get paid at the end of the month.

La porta si trova alla fine del corridoio.
The door is at the end of the corridor.

Alla fin fine is NOT a synonym for alla fine. Alla fin fine means “after all” or “at the end of the day!

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How do you use infine in Italian?

Infine is used to say that the action that is happening is accomplished last, as a final step. That’s why you’ll often find it at the end of a series of actions.

It can also be translated as “at the end”, similar to alla fine, but you can only use it to describe actions, not the actual end of an object, and it’s never followed by the preposition di. You can’t say infine del corridoio!

In the end, finally

For example, you could say…

Infine, il ladro scappò.
In the end, the thief got away.

burglar who broke into a car and is escaping

Sara entrò nella stanza e si sedette sul letto. Infine, si tolse le scarpe.
Sara entered the room and sat down on the bed. Finally, she took off her shoes.

Premi il pulsante rosso e poi quello blu. Infine, tocca lo schermo.
Press the red button and then the blue button. Finally, tap the screen.

And that’s the end of our lesson on how to use finalmente and alla fine in Italian in any situation!

What next?

Now that you’ve seen how to use finalmente and alla fine in Italian, you might want to keep learning Italian online with these free Italian resources:

Title: Italian All-in-One For Dummies
Language: English / Italian
Publisher: For Dummies
Pages: 672

Learn to speak Italian like a native? Easy.
Italian All-in-One For Dummies appeals to those readers looking for a comprehensive, all-encompassing guide to mastering the Italian language. It contains content from all For Dummies Italian language instruction titles, including Italian For Dummies, Intermediate Italian For Dummies, Italian Verbs For Dummies, Italian Phrases For Dummies, Italian Grammar For Dummies, and Italian For Dummies Audio Set.

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