Listen to the lesson:

Meaning and formality.

Begin and start can both be used with the same meaning.

  • She began/started working at the school after graduating university.
  • If John doesn’t come soon, let’s begin/start the lesson without him.

Use begin when adopting a more formal style.

  • Formal: We will begin the meeting when the manager arrives.

Sometimes using begin is not possible and we have to use start.

  • (journey). I think we should start at night, when the roads are clear.
  • (working — machines). The generator won’t start.
  • (make something start). The bell rang to start the meeting.

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