Helping Learners Understand Spoken English

Idioms: The end is in sight vs. No end in sight

Meaning and Use

The end is in sight means that something will soon be ending.  Usually, it means something difficult will soon be over or a difficult goal will soon be accomplished. We can use it with hang in there as a form of encouragement.

If something is in sight, we can see it. In sight is the opposite of out of sight, as in out of sight, out of mind, which means when people or things are not around and we can’t see them, it is easy to forget about them. We use it to say we don’t think as much about things when they are not in front of us.

Now, let’s get back to the end is in sight.

End in sight

The end might be:

  • a goal or deadline about to be reached
  • a period of time about to be finished
  • work or a project that is almost finished
  • someone’s life if they are going to die soon 🙁
  • a marathon or very long walk
  • the completion of a difficult task
  • a zombie apocalypse 😉

Some examples of situations where we could say The end is in sight:

peak in sight

  • She is almost finished with the book she is writing.
  • It is his last semester of university.
  • My mother will retire in 2 months.
  • A person has only 1 month to live. 🙁
  • We are almost to the top of the mountain.
  • It’s the final week of the semester.

No end in sight

No end in sight means that there is no foreseeable end to something. It seems like something will not end any time soon or ever. When people say this, they are often feeling defeated and tired and wish there were an end in sight.

We often use this idiom like this:

It feels like there is no end in sight.

People use no end in sight to talk about situations like these:


  • war
  • bad, unpleasant, or unusual weather
  • a lot of studying or work
  • a long to-do list
  • lots of homework
  • political, legal, or financial issues
  • lots of paperwork
  • a very long day of work
  • other hardships or problems that people face in their lives

No end in sight can also be used in a positive way like when someone is at the top of their game (doing very well!) in sports.

More Idioms

If you’d like to learn more idioms, check out the other idioms I’ve written about or the course below.

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