Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Begin and Start

  1. #1
    Anonymous Guest

    Default Begin and Start

    Can anyone help me? I need to know the main difference between BEGIN and START. I've tried dictionaries, but they don't help much. Thank you soooo much.

  2. #2
    Nahualli Guest

    Default Re: Begin and Start

    Quote Originally Posted by Criss
    Can anyone help me? I need to know the main difference between BEGIN and START. I've tried dictionaries, but they don't help much. Thank you soooo much.
    I hate to say this but there really is no difference.

    It's like another topic someone posted about using "can" and "may" for questions or permission. There may have been rules surrounding the use of begin and start but those rules no longer seem to be in effect.

    Sometimes sentences just sound better using begin or start. You can use the gerund or the infinitive of a verb with either word.

    start working
    begin working
    start to work
    begin to work

    They all make sense. Keep in mind that with words like this (work and play are also common ones) you sometimes have to interperse the gerund of the verb and one of its many conjugated forms.

    You can start reading a book from the beginning. You can begin to do a task from start to finish. The point at which you begin to run a race is its starting point. The time at which you start eating is the same time at which you begin eating.

    I hope this helps you. :(

    -Nah-

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    12,971
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Begin and Start

    Quote Originally Posted by Criss
    Can anyone help me? I need to know the main difference between BEGIN and START. I've tried dictionaries, but they don't help much. Thank you soooo much.
    Try this site: Click here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Azar Grammar online
    People, and most dictionaries, consider start and begin to be synonyms, as in the following pairs of sentences:

    (a) Itís starting to rain.
    (b) Itís beginning to rain.
    (c) When Katherine heard the news, she started to cry.
    (d) When Katherine heard the news, she began to cry.
    (e) The movie starts at 7:00.
    (f) The movie begins at 7:00.

    The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (Houghton Mifflin, 1996) notes that only start, not begin, can imply setting out from a specific point, frequently following inaction, as in sentence (g) below:

    (g) Stand here and visit with me for a few minutes until the train starts.

    The same source notes that begin often means to take the first step in performing or to come into being.

    Michael Swan (Practical English Usage, 2nd ed., Oxford University Press, 1995) lists these instances in which start, but NOT begin, is used:

    1. start a journey:

    I think we ought to start at six, while the roads are empty.

    2. start working (for machines):

    The car wonít start.

    3. make (machines) start:

    How do you start the washing machine?Ē

    So, while in most instances start and begin are interchangeable, in a few cases, such as those described above, only start is possible.

    Source

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    3
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Begin and Start

    THANK YOU SO MUCH. I'VE LEARNED A LOT TODAY! :D


    Quote Originally Posted by Nahualli
    Quote Originally Posted by Criss
    Can anyone help me? I need to know the main difference between BEGIN and START. I've tried dictionaries, but they don't help much. Thank you soooo much.
    I hate to say this but there really is no difference.

    It's like another topic someone posted about using "can" and "may" for questions or permission. There may have been rules surrounding the use of begin and start but those rules no longer seem to be in effect.

    Sometimes sentences just sound better using begin or start. You can use the gerund or the infinitive of a verb with either word.

    start working
    begin working
    start to work
    begin to work

    They all make sense. Keep in mind that with words like this (work and play are also common ones) you sometimes have to interperse the gerund of the verb and one of its many conjugated forms.

    You can start reading a book from the beginning. You can begin to do a task from start to finish. The point at which you begin to run a race is its starting point. The time at which you start eating is the same time at which you begin eating.

    I hope this helps you. :(

    -Nah-

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    3
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Begin and Start

    YOU'VE HELPED ME A LOT! THANK YOU VERY MUCH :D

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    Quote Originally Posted by Criss
    Can anyone help me? I need to know the main difference between BEGIN and START. I've tried dictionaries, but they don't help much. Thank you soooo much.
    Try this site: Click here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Azar Grammar online
    People, and most dictionaries, consider start and begin to be synonyms, as in the following pairs of sentences:

    (a) Itís starting to rain.
    (b) Itís beginning to rain.
    (c) When Katherine heard the news, she started to cry.
    (d) When Katherine heard the news, she began to cry.
    (e) The movie starts at 7:00.
    (f) The movie begins at 7:00.

    The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (Houghton Mifflin, 1996) notes that only start, not begin, can imply setting out from a specific point, frequently following inaction, as in sentence (g) below:

    (g) Stand here and visit with me for a few minutes until the train starts.

    The same source notes that begin often means to take the first step in performing or to come into being.

    Michael Swan (Practical English Usage, 2nd ed., Oxford University Press, 1995) lists these instances in which start, but NOT begin, is used:

    1. start a journey:

    I think we ought to start at six, while the roads are empty.

    2. start working (for machines):

    The car wonít start.

    3. make (machines) start:

    How do you start the washing machine?Ē

    So, while in most instances start and begin are interchangeable, in a few cases, such as those described above, only start is possible.

    Source

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    12,971
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Begin and Start

    Quote Originally Posted by Criss
    YOU'VE HELPED ME A LOT! THANK YOU VERY MUCH :D
    You're welcome. :D

Similar Threads

  1. Start down
    By NewHope in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 27-Jan-2008, 11:13
  2. (Ver 2) First, firstly, initially, start, beginning
    By Wai_Wai in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-Oct-2004, 22:47
  3. where do i begin?
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 28-Sep-2004, 23:20
  4. start and begin
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 27-Aug-2003, 04:16

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •