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I was reading through the Dictionary of Basic Grammar and found that one of the four usages of the で particle is to mark the time when something terminates, similar to the following sentence:

パーティーは 17時で 終わる。

It goes on to say that the に particle can often be used in place of で in this type of situation, and says that the nuance is that the に particle simply marks the end of the party, whereas で implies that the party lasts up to that point. To me, this seems a little ambiguous, since for something to end, it needs to last for a period of time. However, I might be misreading something.

Asking around to a few natives, it seems like there doesn't actually seem to be too much difference in connotation. Someone said that using で sounds more assertive / forceful like the party will end no matter what at that time.

In general, で is used to mark the means or way that something is done, while に marks the place of a state or a point being traveled to. So, with my limited experience I feel like when you use で it has a feeling that the time brought an end to something whether or not it was ready to finish. Meanwhile, if you used に it simply means that it finished at that time and doesn't carry anymore connotation to it.

Is that about it or is there another difference between the use of these two particles in this context?

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I partly agree with the statement that using で sounds more assertive / forceful like the party will end no matter what at that time.

I think particle-で emphasises the feeling of “the last”.

今日仕事は終わりだ。(Today is my last day of work.)

This may not be the right answer, but just for your reference!

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