I know that both 末{すえ} and 終了{しゅうりょう} mean "end," but is there a difference between them?

1 Answer 1


終了 is in the sense of "completed". E.g. 今日の仕事は終了しました。 - today's work has been completed / finished

末 refers to the end (part) of something, e.g. 年末{ねんまつ} - the end of the year

Care has to be taken in how you pronounce it, as すえ or まつ. For example here: 1月の末 - the end (part) of January

This can be read in both ways, but generally speaking, すえ would refer to the last few days of January, whereas まつ refers to the very end, that is, only the 31st of January.

Also, be careful not to mix up 末 and 未. The latter is used when something is not yet finished, e.g. 未{ま}だ (this is often written in hiragana only), or 未来{みらい} = future, literally "not yet come".

  • Awesome, thank you! I was only aware of the まつ reading used when used as 熟語. For example, 週末{しゅうまつ} would mean "weekend. " So I can also say 週の末{まつ}, which would mean the same thing, or 週の末{すえ} and which would just mean "around the end of the week" ?
    – MegaZeroX
    May 5, 2020 at 0:41

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