Starting (Start or begin?)


Do you sometimes start a task and then wish you hadn’t?


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Alan, what is it you want from us regarding this thread?

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Have you ever started a thread and then wished you hadn’t, Alan?

But what’s the thread about, Mr M? Is it meant to get us to read Alan’s article on start and begin?

I reckon that Alan wanted to urge learners to read the article.
I think it is a very wholesome thing to brush up on the difference between the two verbs.

I agree, but is it OK to feed back on the article or not?

Hi LS,

Many thanks for your comments. Positive ones are always welcome!


How about ones which intend to explore your thoughts on those words?

Why not change your strategy for once, Molly. Stop asking provocative questions and deliver input. This is the ‘English Vocabulary, Grammar and Idioms’ section, and people here want to learn more about the English language. Help, don’t distract.

I personally liked the article and I do think it’s helpful. Thank you, Alan. The problem for Russian speakers is that in Russian we have just one word to express the idea. So it’s good to hear about the differences. Makes my life easier :slight_smile:

Hi Torsten,

As you suggest me I listened and read the story about start and begin, It is very interesting and I tried to understand it because I want to undertand about this subject but I confess to you that this is a little complicated, I realized that we use “start” everytime that something is dome for the first time, and “begin” when we want to say that something is being created. Is it true?

My best wishes


Hi Matias,

I think you have made an interesting point about the difference in the use of ‘start’ and ‘begin’. The other point is that ‘start’ has a sense of urgency in its use. ‘Begin’ has the sense of doing something for the first time but without that idea of being sudden. Perhaps I can illustrate this with these two sentences:

Without any warning the madman picked up the gun and started firing/started to fire it in all directions.

If you listen every day to a language you are learning, you begin to understand more and more.

Hope that helps a little,



Thanks for your tip.



I heard the article on Begin/Start.It was great.This teaching method involves learners learning better a subject they have already read about.

Many thanks,


Hi Torsten.I can’t make any difference between start and begin and end and finish.I read the both article again and again , but I can’t understand anything!It’s terrible!

Hi Torsten,
I’v got 10 correct out of the test ,but actually I can’t tell the reason of my choices.
Now I’v heard and read the article"start and begin",that is wonderful.I can distinguish the differrence between the two words now,many thanks!
By the way ,I want to ask why there are no letters since March 3th.I havn’t received your e-mail for nearly half a month,or is that the end ?
I’m looking forward for your replay,thank you!


I think i “start” to understand slightly difference between start and begin,“start” use in the sudden condition and “begin” use in the time which is being used to for someone for a span, am i right? but Is there any more simple explain?

Thanks Alan, now I see the difference between these two words. Thanks for your teachings, your explanation is very clear.

Hi Toesen. I listened end read the article about the start and begin. It was very interesting and I think I understand it.

thanks a million, just now I love start and begin, it was a great lesson,