Here is your answer! - http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=237684
Or, terminer suggests a voluntary act to end something - whether or not it is completed or finished. You might decide to stop eating dinner without eating everything on your plate.
Finir conveys the sense of something coming to an end - a temporary job; a movie; a journey. Here, each has a particular end-point, instead of the voluntary nature implied by the former.
This may not be the complete picture, but is a start to understanding the use of the two verbs which are otherwise considered synonyms.
When a story ends, one has no choice but to "finish the book", which in my logic, points rather to the choice of "finir" than "terminer". So, the above explanation doesn't quite do it for me. Thanks anyhow for the clarification - it at least explains the words themselves better, if not the choice in the sentence
I wonder now: Isn't it that SOMETHING ends (movie, journey, etc.) - "finir", but if SOMEONE finishes something, it is "terminer"?
This is the best explanation I could find: http://frenchforregularfolks.com/terminer-vs-finir/ I hope it helps someone as it was driving me insane for a while.
But given the discussion above, isn't the "different meaning" of end actually appropriate? Perhaps she is writing a book, and she brings it to an abrupt end. It seems that "end" is actually the preferred translation for "terminer":
Terminer is typically used to mean "finish" - there are also good references for that.
Whether in English we use "end" or "finish" depends on what we want to convey.
If "she" voluntarily "finishes / ends" her book it could mean either that she is reading it or writing it. We need more information to determine either way.
The key point is the use of the French verb. Finishing something, as in a task, is generally suited to using 'terminer'. 'Finir' has a similar meaning but can be conveyed in many other contexts.
For example: "Pour finir" (literally "To finish") often translates to "Finally, Lastly, In the end".
I don't think "she ends the book" would work well as a standalone English sentence.
Thanks. So the use of terminer means that she chose to focus on reading the book until she reached the end? Or she stopped reading in the middle? For the latter, the English would need to say "she stopped reading her book".
To clarify, it says son livre, so using end would give us "She ends her book". Which is fine if she is the one writing it.
Yes, I did mean "her book" rather than "the book". But the point remains. "She ends her book" sounds awkward whichever way you interpret it.
As for your first question. Both. She can stop reading the book or she can finish reading the book. It doesn't have to be @ the end of the book. She could have finished reading for the day for instance.
@CWKgoogle: Take a step back. You originally suggested she was doing something with her book - " Perhaps she is writing a book, and she brings it to an abrupt end".
We elaborated from there. If we go back to the original sentence, the only point I'm making is that "she ends her book", in English, sounds more awkward and ambiguous than "she finished her book".
The best I could find is that terminate in english has a more restricted dictionary meaning than "terminer" in french. http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english-french/terminate?showCookiePolicy=true
Also "terminer" probably translates as finish ([travail, repas] "to finish") rather than to end.
Those students who gave the answer she finishes his book may be interested to know that their answer is correct even though Duo marks it wrong. Occasionally, I switch up the gender, when context permits it, to keep clear in my mind through practice that the gender of possessive adjectives says nothing about the subject of the sentence.
Possessive adjectives display the gender of the noun they modify which in this case is livre. Son has nothing to do with the gender of the person doing whatever it is she is doing with the book. It could be either his book or her book. Without context there is no way to know. Duo is wrong to say that there is.
So I've read the discussion trail and its helped confuse me just about as much as help me :P When i read that sentence, i was thinking that she was writing it, and I picked the English translation of "She ends her book" which was marked wrong. Should i suggest that as correct, or is there a solid reason why that is not correct?
There is no solid reason. But there is no 100% right answer here. There is alsways the 1% possibility that someone can intend to convey this meaning. So perhaps think about it in terms of what's most likely to be the meaning. What Duo has suggested is most likely to have this meaning in French.
Rae.F Be careful, there is also a feminine "livre" = pound, e.g. "This bag weighs one pound" = "Ce sac pèse UNE livre". Since "livre" can identify a book as well as a pound, the french make the distinction with the gender. One less word to memorize if it was different. Ravissante!
The possessive, like articles and other adjectives, must agree in gender and number with the noun it's attached to. "Livre" is singular masculine, so it takes the articles "un" and "le" and the possessive "mon/ton/son/notre/votre/leur". The plural "livres" takes the articles "des" and "les" and the possessive "mes/tes/ses/nos/vos/leurs".