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    #1

    "at the beginning" or "in the beginning"

    Am I correct in thinking that "at the beginning" should be followed by "of something" and "in the beginning" shouldn't?

    Example:

    1. At the beginning of the lesson I was sleepy.

    2. In the beginning everything looked simple.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "at the beginning" or "in the beginning"

    You may well have been told this, and the OALD seems to suggest it, but the figures tell us that it is far from an absolute rule.

    COCA has 7,448 citations for 'at the beginning', 5,224 of them being for 'at the beginning of'.
    It has 3,295 citations for 'in the beginning', 526 of them being for 'in the beginning of'.

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    #3

    Re: "at the beginning" or "in the beginning"

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    You may well have been told this, and the OALD seems to suggest it, but the figures tell us that it is far from an absolute rule.

    COCA has 7,448 citations for 'at the beginning', 5,224 of them being for 'at the beginning of'.
    It has 3,295 citations for 'in the beginning', 526 of them being for 'in the beginning of'.
    Thank you,

    I wasn't expecting any doubt here as I believe this was even a test question in one of textbooks I leafed.

    And... I don't know what COCA stands for .

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: "at the beginning" or "in the beginning"

    Quote Originally Posted by JarekSteliga View Post
    Thank you,

    I wasn't expecting any doubt here as I believe this was even a test question in one of textbooks I leafed.

    And... I don't know what COCA stands for .
    COCA: Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA)

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: "at the beginning" or "in the beginning"

    Quote Originally Posted by JarekSteliga View Post
    And... I don't know what COCA stands for .
    You may have noticed that there are small underlining dots under COCA. if you hover your cursor on words 'dotted' in this way, the full version will appear as if by magic.

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