The phrase « Ho finito » in Italian is how you would translate all three of the following English phrases:
- I am done. / I’m done.
- I am finished. / I’m finished.
- I have finished. / I’ve finished.
I’m done! / I’m finished! / I’ve finished!
Ho is the first person singular present form of the auxiliary verb avere (to have), so it literally translates as I have. For this reason, it most closely resembles the third English example “I have finished” in terms of its form.
You could also say io ho finito, with the addition of the subject pronoun io (I), but doing so would make the phrase more emphatic, as in the following example:
Io ho finito ma tu no.
I’ve finished but you haven’t.
I’m done but you’re not.
Finito is the past participle of the verb finire (to finish). Quite often, Italians will use it on its own without the auxiliary, much in the same way English people say “Finished!” or “(All) done!” in informal speech.
Finito! – Va bene, ora puoi andare a giocare.
All done! – Ok, you can go and play now.
If you want to be a bit more specific about what you’ve completed, you can use the following “it / them” constructions. Note that the end of finito changes in accordance with the gender and number of the object in question.
- L’ho finito = I’ve finished it (“it” is a masculine singular noun such as libro = book)
- L’ho finita = I’ve finished it (“it” is a feminine singular noun such as storia = story)
- Li ho finiti = I’ve finished them (“them” is a masculine plural noun such as libri = books)
- Le ho finite = I’ve finished them (“them” is a feminine plural noun such as storie = stories)
Hai finito la colazione? – Sì, l’ho finita.
Have you finished your breakfast? – Yes, I’ve finished it.
Given that the English phrase “I am done” contains the verb “to be“, you might find yourself tempted to translate the phrase using the auxiliary verb essere (to be) instead of avere (to have). Although Sono finito does exist, it actually means “I am done for” or “I have ended up (somewhere / doing something)“, not “I’m done“.
Cacchio, sono finito!
Crap, I’m done for!
Sono finito in mezzo alla strada.
I ended up in the middle of the street.