When something starts, it begins. This word can be used for a person or a thing.

  • The day begins when the sun rises.
  • A novel begins on page one.
  • The alphabet begins with the letter A.
  • Mary’s name begins with the letter M.
  • At what age does a baby begin to walk?
  • Most kids begin kindergarten at the age of five or six.
  • When did you begin to learn English?

"Begin" is an irregular verb, and the form of the verb changes depending on the tense:

simplepastpast participle
  • The class began ten minutes ago. (past tense)
  • The movie hasn’t begun yet. (present perfect tense)
  • Yolanda will begin college in the fall. (future tense)
  • Peter is beginning to learn Spanish.
  • When did their problems begin?

The word "beginning" is a noun:

  • The beginning of the novel was fascinating.
  • Beginning a new life in another country is difficult.
  • Scientists theorize that a "big bang" marked the beginning of the universe.
  • Let’s start from the beginning. (Tell me what happened at the start.)

A beginner is a person who does something for the first time:

  • She’s learning how to drive. She’s a beginner.
  • Don’t be too critical of his abilities. He’s still a beginner.
  • I’m sorry my piano playing is so bad. I’m still a beginner.
  • Few people want to be operated on by a beginning surgeon. It’s preferable to have a procedure done by an expert with a lot of experience rather than a beginner.


He just started learning how to ski. He’s a beginner.

Click here to learn more words.

April 2, 2014