What is the difference between "I am done" and "I am through"?



What is the difference between when we say "I am done" and "I am through"? Please give examples to make the difference clear.


Posted 2014-09-28T14:32:49.483

Reputation: 203

Related ELU post: We're finished vs We're done

– sumelic – 2017-06-19T02:10:39.813



Done and through have been used in these sentences as an adjective. Both adjectives are interchangeable, without any difference in meaning. We use them when we have finished doing or using something. A few examples are given below:

1- I am done or I am through. It means I have finished doing or using something.

2- He is through or done with his homework.

3- Are you done or through with my pen?

Both of the adjectives are common in use. We can also use finished in place of done or through.


Posted 2014-09-28T14:32:49.483

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+1 As an add there's another way of saying it "I am over with " – SovereignSun – 2017-05-04T06:58:09.767


"I am done" usually indicates that the speaker has completed the task they wanted to complete as does "I am through." They are typically interchangeable. "I am through" is more formal and a stronger statement.Either statement can be made less formal by making "I am" into the contraction "I'm."


Posted 2014-09-28T14:32:49.483

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While, in most cases both phrases can be used interchangeably, there are cases where replacing one with the other won't make sense. For example:

Q. Did you make it to the elite class?

A. I am through.

In this case, I am done as an answer won't make sense.

Specifically, through fits here because it indicates the conclusion of an event while there's still something relevant beyond it.


Posted 2014-09-28T14:32:49.483

Reputation: 693


They are both correct if you want to say that something has been completed, or finished. However, I think "through" can be used to imply a more accentuated meaning. "I am through", to me, implies that the whole situation was a somewhat long process. "I'm done" is more related to completing a task while "I'm through" is more related to overcoming a situation or maybe a series of tasks. example: when you have gone "through" hardships, you ARE through.. not done. If you were going through hardships but decided to quit, you are not through.. you are done.

tobias ripper

Posted 2014-09-28T14:32:49.483

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"I am done" usually means that the task you are currently engaged in is over and complied with fully.

"I am through" in most usages conveys the same thing. However, it might depend largely on preferences. In my days as a grade schooler living with an aunt who had a doctorate in English I almost always heard her say "Are you through?"

Context doesn't seem to influence the denotation. Through a process or done with it seems to be the only specificity that needs to be dealt with. Otherwise, I don't have issues of interchanging its usage. I hope that helped disambiguate.

Emmanuel Macapagal

Posted 2014-09-28T14:32:49.483

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It depends on context and inflection. If you emphatically announce you are done! It imply you made the decision to be done. Period. If you say I am through... it makes no sense. Through with what? You can say, I got through it.. whatever it is.... or say you got through the maze or homework etc. but If you say I am through... it implies... I am through with this, referencing whatever you were working on. Better to say: I am finished... or it is finished... is a way to say something has been completed fully. Jesus said, " it is finished". He had done all he needed to do for the salvation of mankind. Nothing else is required.


Posted 2014-09-28T14:32:49.483

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Your "I am through" examples seem to contradict each other with no clear distinction. Maybe there's a typo? – Nathan Tuggy – 2017-06-18T22:45:08.720


I think, grammatical we can not say " I am done" but for native speakers, it will work. when we say "I am done", it means I am ready for another task, focus on this sentence is I. when we say" I have done" it is present perfect tense, and means I have finished the work, and our focus in this sentence is the action or task.


Posted 2014-09-28T14:32:49.483

Reputation: 1

Both I am done and I am through are correct in English. The meaning you refer to is incorrect. – SovereignSun – 2017-05-04T06:57:23.563