English Vocabulary

start or begin

When did Delavigne start making perfumes?
I automatically used the verb begin in that case. When did Delavigne begin making perfumes. Is there any difference between start and begin?


  • If your own way to say when Delavigne stepped in the perfumery is that he began making perfume.... I think you are quite right. When meaning to commence, to set going, to initiate a task, a work, a meal and whatever, 'start' and 'begin' are perfect synonyms.
    I started/began my workout.
    The play is to start/to begin at 8PM.
    What would you like to start/begin with?
    To begin/start with, let's say...

    But, as you know, in some cases, one only verb is used according to the way the language has evolved.
    Some examples among billions of others.
    - There is a fight. One says "He started it!" (not began)
    - I'd say: the words "When did" begin the question your posted on Feb 1. (rather than start it)
    - Let's get started! (rather than let's begin)
    - It's a good start! (a noun I confess.)

    We have to get accustomed to using the way English natives play with their starts and beginnings.
    For newcomers in the GymGlish community, it's a new start: "Begin the Begin".
    As for me I should start over.

    Thank you for your post.
  • I like your discriminating answer with that lot of examples. That's always great. Thank you.
    What started out as a simple case of vocabulary turns out to be an idiomatic field.

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