The Difference Between "Begin" and "Start"

BEGIN and START can be used interchangeably, but there is a little difference between “to begin and “to start”. Did you know that?

How to use "begin"
I begin my diary with “Dear Diary”


  • We can use the verbs begin” or “start” to mean the same thing but “begin” is more formal than “start”.

When did you begin learning English?

The meeting didn’t start until 9 p.m

  • We use “start” for machines and making something start.

I started the washing machine an hour ago

Not:  I began the washing machine an hour ago.

My car won’t start!

Not: My car won’t begin.

  • “Start”, but not “begin”, is used to talk about creating a new business

She started a new restaurant and it’s been going really well.

Not: She began a new restaurant…

How to use "start"
She starts to run.


Other verbs that have similar meaning to “begin” and “start” are: “commence”, “initiate”

  • “Commence” usually stresses the beginning of a formal event.

The president commenced the ceremony.

  • “Initiate” is used to describe the first steps in a process.

Who initiates the violence?

Now it is your turn to make 2 sentences using “begin” and “start”. And don’t forget to share with us by commenting below.

>>> Read this post to find out the difference between “Listen” and “Hear”



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