Final vs finale

Photo of author

| Grammarist

| Updated:

| Confusables

Final and finale are two words that are close in spelling and pronunciation and may be considered confusables. Confusables is a catch-all term for words that are often confused in usage. Two words or more than two words may be confused because they are similar in spelling, similar in pronunciation, or similar in meaning. These commonly confused words may be pronounced the same way or pronounced differently or may be spelled the same way or spelled differently, or may have different meanings or have almost different meanings; they may be homophones, homonyms, heteronyms, words that have a similar spelling, or words that have a similar meaning. Confusables often confound native speakers of English, and they may be difficult for ESL students and those learning English to understand. Confusables are misspelled, misused words and may be nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, or any other part of speech. Spelling rules in English are not dependable; there are many exceptions. Often, the best procedure for learning commonly misused words and commonly confused words in English is to make word lists of English words for the learner to study. A spell checker will rarely find this type of mistake in English vocabulary, so do not rely on spell check but instead, learn to spell and learn the definitions of words. Even a participant in a spelling bee like the National Spelling Bee will ask for an example of a confusable in a sentence, so that she understands which word she is to spell by using context clues. Confusables are often used in wordplay like puns. We will examine the different meanings of the confusables final and finale, the word origins of the terms, and some examples of their English usage in sentences.

Final is an adjective or a noun that describes (1.)something that comes at the end of a series, (2.) something that happens at the end of a process or is the last, irrevocable outcome, (3.) the score at the end of a sporting event, (4.) the last iteration of an opinion that cannot be argued with any further, or (5.) the last test a student takes at the end of a course. The word final is derived the Latin word finalis, which means concluding.

Finale is the end of a piece of music, a performance, or a show. Usually, a finale is the most spectacular part of the piece in order to leave the audience with a feeling of wonder. The word finale is also derived from the Latin word finalis.


President Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden are barnstorming the Great Lakes states in the final days of the presidential election, with both candidates keenly aware that the region could once again hold the key to victory. (The Wall Street Journal)

Phil Mickelson has committed to the next week’s Vivint Houston Open, the final PGA Tour event before the November Masters. (USA Today)

While Dexter was widely praised throughout its eight seasons, earning critical acclaim and awards recognition, the finale is often cited as one of the worst in modern history. (Vanity Fair)

Raleigh’s two-time ambassador to “Big Brother” faced the eviction block Thursday night, in a live episode that determined which of the remaining contestants make it to the show’s finale next week. (The Raleigh News & Observer)

Leave a Comment