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Is there a difference in meaning between these when expressing that something is over / has ended? Examples:

  • Der Winter ist beendet / zu Ende / vorbei.
  • Die Sitzung ist beendet / zu Ende / vorbei.
  • Der Unterricht ist beendet / zu Ende / vorbei.
  • Der Krieg ist beendet / zu Ende / vorbei.

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Using beendet alludes to an actor who made the thing stop. Thus, it works with Sitzung and Unterricht, and in some cases with Krieg, but it doesn't work with Winter.

The difference between zu Ende and vorbei is that zu Ende is used only for things that ended recently, whereas vorbei remains valid thereafter.

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