at the end of the day

British and Australian English INFORMAL
This page is about the conversational phrase at the end of the day


You can say this when stating the most important fact, or the most fundamental truth, of a situation.

For example

  • "We think William should go to college."
    "So do I, but at the end of the day it's your son's decision, not yours."

  • After another school shooting, the President said, "At the end of the day, we're all to blame for this."

Also has a literal meaning, as in "You'll get paid at the end of the day."


This is typically used in British and Australian English but may be used in other varieties of English too.

Quick Quiz

Our coach said, "At the end of the day, the team that wins is the one

a. that plays the best football."

b. that has the most money."

c. that has famous players."

Contributor: Matt Errey