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I already knew てしまう and 切る and the difference between their uses, although I still wouldn't say I have a strong understanding of their nuances. After going through some N3 grammar, I found that using 上げる after the masu stem can mean to finish doing. But there surely must be a different nuance to this right? So how would these sentences differ for example:

宿題をしてしまった (I'm right in thinking this one is unnatural right?) 宿題をしきった 宿題をし上げた And then of course 宿題が終わった

If you can give me any help, thanks very much! It's my first time using this site so よろしくお願いします!

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  • Vて + しまう works with any action verb. The nuance is "although possibly undesirable/unnecessary, finish/do it anyway".
    • 夕食の前に宿題をやってしまおう。
    • その教科書は全部読んでしまった。
  • V切る works with many (but certainly not all) verbs. The nuance is "with much effort", "exhaustively", "every last one", "finally".
    • 5日かけて夏休みの宿題をやり切った。
    • 彼はフルマラソンを走りきった。
  • V上げる works only with a few verbs usually related to producing something. The nuance is "finish creating something".
    • 3時間で宿題の作文を書き上げた。
    • 彼は素晴らしい芸術作品を作り上げた。
  • V終える is explicit, and works with any action verb. There is no strange implication, just "finish V-ing".
    • 宿題をやり終えた。
    • 映画を見終えた。

V終える is a very simple and neutral grammar pattern, but others should be used with caution. As you probably know, Vてしまう has several related but different usages. V切る and V上げる are basically lexicalized compound verbs, and you should check the meaning of each verb using a dictionary or this lexicon. 飲み切る means "to drink up" but 噛み切る does not mean "to finish biting". 書き上げる means "to write up; to finish writing" but 読み上げる does not mean "to finish reading".

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  • Thanks for yet another clear, thorough and answer – but the lexicon you linked to actually lists "to read to the end" as a secondary definition for 読み上げる, and 大辞林 has 「終わりまで読む」. I'm guessing maybe these are rare or outdated usages? – Nanigashi Sep 11 at 23:06
  • @Nanigashi Oh is that so? Then 終わりまで読む should be a rare usage. I thought 読み上げる only means 声に出して読む. (歌い上げる does sometimes mean 終わりまで歌う) – naruto Sep 11 at 23:11

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