Why do I more often hear and read "..... zu Ende bringen" und nicht, what would seem to be the more grammatically correct "..... zum Ende bringen"? I mean Ende ist neutral (das Ende) and zu requires the dative, therefore "zum Ende" would be more grammatically correct, wouldn't it?

3 Answers 3


'zum Ende bringen' doesn't strike me as incorrect - but there is a difference in meaning:

This is a fixed phrase and doesn't use the base meaning of 'bringen' (= to bring sth to somewhere), but more in a metaphorical sense:

etwas zu Ende bringen --> to finish sth

This is just the verb 'bringen' with a location phrase ('Ende' in Dativ):

etwas zum Ende bringen --> to take and bring sth to the end


"zu Ende" is a fixed phrase. It means that something is over ("Der Tag ist zu Ende") or, in combination with the verbs "führen" and "bringen", that something has been finished via certain actions.

As planetmaker writes in his answer, it is not wrong to say "etwas zum Ende bringen" or "etwas zu einem Ende bringen", but it is somewhat unusual. However, it is adequate to say "etwas zu einem guten Ende bringen". In this case it would be unusual to say "etwas zu gutem Ende bringen". The adjective changes the situation.


DWDS includes this in definition 8 under in Verbindung mit »zu«, »zum«, »zur« along with about a dozen similar expressions. I think it's best to regard these as fixed expressions whose meaning is not to be taken literally and whose grammar is not to be analyzed too closely. The English "bring to an end" is a similar fixed expression. Others are "bring to a boil", "bring to a head", "bring to bear", "bring to heel", "bring to light", "bring to the table", etc. I certainly wouldn't want to have to explain why "bring to light" is correct but "bring to the light" is not.

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