Nachdem ich meinen MA an der Universität Oklohoma abgeschlossen habe, werde ich nach Deutschland umziehen.

After I am done with my masters at Oklohoma University, I'll move to Germany.

Will it still be grammatically correct if I use aufhören or beenden? Will it change the meaning of the sentence or is one verb more specific than the other?

  • I cant speak for beenden. But i use aufhören to tell someone to stop doing something specific.
    – emaltman
    May 1, 2014 at 5:45

5 Answers 5


In this context abgeschlossen is the only correct word given the choices: You are writing a job application (or something like that) and you have completed your Masters successfully (I assume). Abgeschlossen is just the right word for that situation. Other words: vollendet, absolviert.

Beenden in this context is weird, because it does not imply that you have finished it successfully. It could mean that you dropped out:

Ich habe mein Studium beendet, weil es mir keinen Spaß gemacht hat. (quit)

Obwohl es mir keinen Spaß gemacht hat, habe ich mein Studium beendet. (finished)

Aufhören is more like spoken language and I think it would be inappropriate in a job application. Like beenden it does not say wether you finished successfully. It is inclined a little bit more in the direction of actively stopping something:

Ich habe aufgehört Mathematik zu studieren und habe zu Germanistik gewechselt.


Both beenden and aufhören mean similar things, more or less, i.e. "put an end to it" and "stop", respectively. Abschließen, on the other hand, means "finish." It'll end things as well, but there is closure. Usually this means that you successfully did what you set out to do, and move on.

  • "Beenden" heisst für mich, dass etwas zuende gebracht ist; bei "Aufhören" muss das nicht der Fall sein.
    – Robert
    May 1, 2014 at 19:01
  • Bei beenden mE auch nicht: es heißt für mich nur, dass etwa ein Ende findet. Wenn man eine Sache beendet, muss sie deswegen nicht fertig, abgeschlossen oder vollendet (!) sein.
    – Ingmar
    May 2, 2014 at 3:38

"Abschliessen" means to finish or "close" a matter.

"Beenden" means to put an "end" to something.

Aufhören means to "cease" as in "cease and desist."

  • No, "aufhören" is only to cease; to desist is "unterlassen."
    – celtschk
    Jul 20, 2014 at 14:00
  • @celtschk: OK, fixed.
    – Tom Au
    Jul 20, 2014 at 14:06

aufhören: you can use this verb without an object or mit+object or with a zu-infininitve.

  • Ich muss aufhören, ich bin müde./ Ich muss jetzt mit der Arbeit aufhören./ Es hat aufgehört zu regnen.

beenden and abschließen: These verbs are more written language, have the same meaning and are transitive. "abschließen" expresses the idea that something is completely finished, "beenden" can have the same meaning, but according to context it can mean that the work is not yet finished completely:

  • Wir müssen die Arbeit für heute beenden und morgen weitermachen.

The difference between the three is that one is perfect the others imperfect

abgeschlossen means you are done for good;

aufhören means you stopped doing it, but you are not necessarily done yet;

beenden almost would work, if you want to say you have finished your studies, but still nothing prevents you from picking them up again.

Yet abgeschlossen means done, period

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