Grammar Question


I’ve always felt like I had pretty decent grammar, and definitely notice a lot of mistakes in the things I read, but I just happened onto a supposed rule that I have NEVER heard before.  I’m wondering if this particular item is something that you were taught, and if so, could it be a regional thing?  Because in Indiana, I was never told about this one.

The rule:

Items are done; People are finished.

Meaning that you should never say “I’m done with this,” but instead say, “I am finished.”  Turkeys are done when they have baked long enough, but people finish what they are doing.

Were you taught this?  Was my education lacking in this, or are there other people out there who have never heard of this rule?



About dayuntoday

I'm a wonderer. I spend a lot of time mulling, pondering, and cogitating. This is just a place to park some of those thoughts.
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6 Responses to Grammar Question

  1. fwren says:

    I’ve never heard of it either ~

  2. Actually I was taught this rule, and I do think about it from time to time, but it generally doesn’t jump out at me when I hear someone violate the rule.(I just finished painting our basement walls, therefore the basement wall project is done.)OK.  That’s all I have to say about that.  I’m done. 

  3. efilbrun says:

    That’s an interesting one!  I like the distinction between humans and all else.

  4. kurtandrita says:

    Ronda, you have hit (kind of) upon my pet peeve most unnecessary word in the English language!  I despise the word “done,” and I try to avoid it at all costs.  It can be replaced by another word in all instances in my thinking.  I haven’t heard this rule before; my rule is just don’t use “done” ever. 

  5.  The truth is that I finished the bookwork. But the bookwork itself is a thing. So can I say the bookwork is done? Or should I say the bookwork is finished?

  6. I’ve never heard of it, but I like it.

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