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Hi guys,
Am I using the auxiliary verb 終わる、correctly?
I'm trying to say..
Have you finished using the knife?
ナイフを使い終わりますか。

よろしくお願いします
 
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That's a strange sentence because 終わります would be taken as in the future, so it reads like 'will you be finished using the knife?'
At least it should be 終わりました to be '*have* you finished'.
I don't see anything else wrong with the sentence, but if there is hopefully someone else will be kind enough to point it out.
 
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That's a strange sentence because 終わります would be taken as in the future, so it reads like 'will you be finished using the knife?'
At least it should be 終わりました to be '*have* you finished'.
I don't see anything else wrong with the sentence, but if there is hopefully someone else will be kind enough to point it out.
Thanks for your reply, I thought about that too. But I didn't know.
I am asking the question now in the present.
I suppose if I said
昨日はお母さんに「ナイフを使い終わると聞いましたか。
The whole sentence is in the past tense.
 
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The whole sentence is in the past tense, but the 'finished' clause isn't, so it remains strange. It's like "I asked my mother 'Will you be finished using the knife?'"

The only way that occurs to me for the non-past to make sense is in conjunction with some kind of time speculation (いつ or すぐ for example).
いつナイフを使い終わるか should be sensible I think and mean 'when will you be done using the knife?'
 
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Thanks for your reply, I thought about that too. But I didn't know.
I am asking the question now in the present.
I suppose if I said
昨日はお母さんに「ナイフを使い終わると聞いましたか。
The whole sentence is in the past tense.
I don't think it matters when someone asked it, the question should still be the same, in the past.
ナイフを使い終わる is still a question about the future.
In this sentence, ナイフを使い終わる is quoted by と. Though you probably need to put it in parentheses (with question mark) and/or put か after.
(Assuming you wrote 「ナイフを使い終わるか」) In that sentence you're asking if they asked (their or someone else's) mom if she will be done using the knife yesterday. Edit: It could also be a self directed question.
It's still the situation SomeCallMeChrisさん described.

If I'm wrong about this, someone please correct me.
 
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Mike Cash

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"Have you finished...." Is not present tense.

使い終わった
Or
使い終わっている
 
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Isn't it お前はもう用済みだ? /shot
On a more serious note, もう~終わった is quite a common collocation.

On the tense issue, think of the same in English:
I asked if he was done (question past, action past)
I asked when he would be done (question past, action future)
I will ask if he is done (question future, action past)
I will ask when he will be done (question future, action future)

Just changing "will ask" to "asked" doesn't make the part about what you asked also past tense - you have to change "would be done" to "was done" as well.

You have probably at some point been told of/shown examples of sentences where the last verb sets the entire tense.
e.g. 東京に行って、友達と(会った・会う)

That's because the te-form, by itself, doesn't really imply any tense, and therefore it kind of adopts the tense of the following verb. However, in the version with a quote, you have a sentence that stands alone. Its meaning is not affected by the tense of the final verb - that only indicates when it was/will be said.
 
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Ok so if I told someone what happened it would be
昨日はお母さんに「ナイフを使い終わったか」と聞いました。

But asking casually would be
もうナイフを使い終わった?

Thanks everyone I really appreciate your help. All your answers made great sense.
Nekojitasan your right, I was thinking about the final verb setting the tense all the whole sentence.
 
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Ok so if I told someone what happened it would be
昨日はお母さんに「ナイフを使い終わったか」と聞いましたか。
That sentence is not a statement with か at the end. You'll have to lose the か. Otherwise yes.
But asking casually would be
もうナイフを使い終わった?
Yeah, with a rising intonation or whatever it's called.
 
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By the way, you need to use parentheses only if you're making a direct (word-for-word) quotation with と.
You can just write it like 昨日はお母さんにナイフを使い終わったかと聞いました。which is not a direct quotation. It means that you may have asked in some other way (politer or whatever), but you're just telling someone that you did it.
 
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By the way, you need to use parentheses only if you're making a direct (word-for-word) quotation with と.
You can just write it like 昨日はお母さんにナイフを使い終わったかと聞いました。which is not a direct quotation. It means that you may have asked in some other way (politer or whatever), but you're just telling someone that you did it.
Thanks killerinsideesan. I think I have been told that before by toritoribesan. I should have remebered it.
 

Toritoribe

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昨日はお母さんにナイフを使い終わったかと聞きました。
と shows that that's a direct quotation. 使い終わったか聞きました is used for indirect quotation.

昨日お母さんにナイフを使い終わったか聞きました。
 
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と shows that that's a direct quotation. 使い終わったか聞きました is used for indirect quotation.

昨日お母さんにナイフを使い終わったか聞きました。
I guess this is another thing I specifically read about (direct and indirect quotations) and it turned out to be wrong. DBJG makes a distinction between those two, but they both use と, just the direct one is in parentheses. Tae Kim's site (yes, that hated site) splits in into direct and interpreted quotes (latter not being word-for-word), both use と. Neither Tae Kim of DBJG mention the version without と. DBJG even specifically states this "Note that in Japanese と is necessary for both direct and indirect quotations" Is all of that totally wrong?
The more I learn, the more false information I find. I don't know which learning material to trust anymore. :/
 
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I guess this is another thing I specifically read about (direct and indirect quotations) and it turned out to be wrong. DBJG makes a distinction between those two, but they both use と, just the direct one is in parentheses. Tae Kim's site (yes, that hated site) splits in into direct and interpreted quotes (latter not being word-for-word), both use と. Neither Tae Kim of DBJG mention the version without と. DBJG even specifically states this "Note that in Japanese と is necessary for both direct and indirect quotations" Is all of that totally wrong?
The more I learn, the more false information I find. I don't know which learning material to trust anymore. :/
I am a little confused as well as I thought that you always used と or って。
 

Mike Cash

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The indirect version just means that you're relating the gist of what was said, not the actual verbatim content of the conversation.

In the …ナイフを使い終わったか聞きました version (indirect quote), he may actually have said something such as ナイフもういい? and report the speech (indirect speech) as …ナイフを使い終わったか聞きました

The same thing pertains in English:

I asked my mother, "Are you finished with the knife?" (Direct quote...exact words that were spoken)

I asked my mother if she was finished with the knife. (Indirect quote...reported speech. Gives the nature of the exchange, not the exact words).
 
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I understood the point Toritoribeさん made and you elaborated on. I'm not doubting what you or Toritoribeさん are saying is true, far from it. I'm just wondering if the information in DBJG and that site is basically wrong then?
Quoting DBJG - "To is basically used to mark a quotation; the literal meaning of ~to iu is "say with (the sound) ~" This use of to, however, has been extended to cover indirect quotations, as in (a) or (b), and even thoughts (i.e., internal voice), as in (c). Note that in Japanese と is necessary for both direct and indirect quotations, as seen in KS and (a)."
(a) - 「トムは日本に行きたいと言っている。」
(b) - 「これは十六世紀に立てられたと書いてあります。」
KS - 「ヒルさんは私に日本語で「こんにちは」と言った。」

The quote above is basically the reason why I wrote a similar thing as you did (finished using. | Japan Forum but I thought that と had to be written with indirect quotes as well.

Edit: Also from DBJG; か(2) section - Note 3. "Ka remains in indirect questions as in KS(B), (c) and (d)."
KS(B) - 「私はテリーにナンシーが日本へ行くかと聞いた。」
(c) - 「友達は漢字が難しいかと聞いた。」
(d) - 「私はジャンに誰が来たかとたずねた。」

Either we're not talking about the same "indirect" stuff or they made a big blunder.
 
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Toritoribe

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Sorry, I should have said "indirect question" instead of "indirect quotation". It's more common and natural to use just か, not かと, for indirect question, therefore かと is interpreted as a direct quotation/question.
 
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