AT THE BEGINNING, IN THE END, ETC...
‘At the beginning’ or ‘at the end’ (of the story) tell us the chronological point.
‘In the beginning’ (and ‘at first’) suggest a contrast later. We expect to hear ‘but later’ the circumstances changed. Or ‘ in the end’ suggests a contrast earlier. Before, there were problems and uncertainty.
Finally and eventually suggest a long wait. (Finally usually comes before the verb.) The outcome may be positive or negative.
At last suggests a very long wait. The outcome is positive.
Compare the following pairs of sentences.
John and Anita got married at the beginning of May. In the beginning, the marriage worked well, but problems soon began to emerge.
At the end of the war, the soldiers all went home.
We had a long and bitter argument, but in the end I realized he was right after all.
I burnt the meat and dropped the vegetables, but the meal turned out all right in the end.
At last the waiter brought them their meal, but by then it was cold.
Put one of the above words or expressions into each gap.
After the operation, he went home to recuperate. ____________ he made good progress, but his condition soon began to deteriorate.
_____________ of the film, we are introduced to the two main characters, Bill and Sarah Cunningham.
Damian told me the other day that he wants to be an astronaut. I didn’t believe him _____________, but then I realized he was serious!
She spent days trying to decide what to do. She __________ decided that the best course of action was to do nothing.
I’ve spent thousands of pounds trying to get my driving licence, and now, after seventeen goes, I’ve got it _______________.
They tried hard to make the marriage work, but their hearts weren’t in it, and they got divorced ________________.
The story jumps around from place to place, and there are characters introduced who don’t seem to be connected. _____________, you have very little idea of what it was all about.
I had to wait weeks for the cheque to come, but it arrived ___________.
Complete the sentences with at or in
Example: He players shook hands _at__ the end of the match.
It took John a long time to find a job after he left school. _____ the end he found a job as a waiter.
‘When do you get paid?’ ‘_____ the end of the month.’
Are you going away _____ the beginning of August or ______ the end?
I couldn’t decide what to get Ann for her birthday. ____ the end I didn’t get her anything at all.
We waited ages for a taxi. We gave up _____the end and walked home.
_____ the end of the course the students usually have a party.
I’ll be moving to a new address _____ the end of September.
His illness got worse and worse. _____ the end he had to go into hospital for an operation.
Tom didn’t want to lend the money at first but _____ the end he agreed.
In the beginning/at first
At the beginning
In the beginning’ / at first
Finally and eventually
In the end
At the end
In the end /eventually
3 at, at