Finale vs finally

Finale and finally are two words that are close in spelling and pronunciation and may be considered confusables. We will examine the different meanings of the confusables finale and finally, the word origins of the terms, and some examples of their English usage in sentences.

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 a borrowed Italian word, which is derived from the Latin word, finalis, which means concluding or ending.

Finally is an adverb that means after a long time or an extreme difficulty or after a prolonged period. Finally is also used as a signal that one has come to the last item in a list or series or that one is about to state a conclusion. The word finally came into use in the fifteenth century to mean the last occurrence or something that is complete.

Examples

Wedding bells were ringing in the series finale of “NCIS: New Orleans.” (USA Today)

Confetti rained down on Times Square following a weekend of free public events to welcome back Broadway, bringing a spectacular conclusion to a star-studded grand finale of the Curtain Up! festival on Sunday, September 19, from 11 am-1 pm. (DC Metro Theater Arts)

A bright red river of lava from the volcano on Spain’s La Palma island finally tumbled over a cliff and into the Atlantic Ocean, setting off huge plumes of steam and possibly toxic gases that forced local residents outside the evacuation zone to remain indoors on Wednesday. (Denver Post)

“I finally figured out what was going on,” Grisham writes. (Sydney Morning Herald)