One week ago, my son came home from school and asked me: Mum, is there a difference between “at the end ” and “in the end“? Of course! I said. “But… is it very very important?”
I guessed he had made a mistake when writing his essay and the teacher had taken points off his mark .
If you go to a dictionary it will tell you that ” at the end” refers to a point when something finishes; and “in the end” introduces the result of the outcome of something . Well, you see, I cannot disagree with these grammarians but my son, being 16, would probably not understand these abstract definitions. So, I decided to show him some pictures and give him a more down-to-earth explanation to see if it helped him.
“In the end” means the same as “eventually” ” after something has been thought about or discussed a lot”
“At the end“ is more physical like “at the end of the road” “at the end of the book”, though you can also say ” at the end of the day”.
Hope this helps you! Now, why don’t you try doing an exercise about this?