Difference Between Begin and Began

By: | Updated: Aug-13, 2022
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English grammar is a complex subject and often students struggle to distinguish between word usage and sentence structure. Grammar can be broken down into two main areas: word usage and sentence structure. Word usage is the area of grammar which deals with the correct use of words in a sentence. This can be dealt with through reviewing the correct use of verbs, nouns, adjectives and other important parts of speech. Sentence structure is the area of grammar which deals with the correct way to put together sentences. This can be dealt with through studying sentence diagramming and structuring paragraphs.

Summary Table

Begin Began
Present tense Past tense
Shows something that is starting Shows something that has started
Spelled with an ‘i’ Spelled with an ‘a’

Difference Between Begin and Began

In order to understand word usage, we must first learn about different parts of speech. There are five parts of speech: nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs and pronouns. Nouns are the names of people, places and things. Verbs are the action words that describe what a noun does. Adjectives are words that describe nouns. Adverbs describe verbs and adjectives. Pronouns are words that stand in for nouns or other pronouns.

In this article, we will learn about the difference between begin and began in English grammar. We will also learn about the difference between begin and began in sentence structure.

What is Begin?

The verb begin means to start something new or to begin doing something for the first time. It is a transitive verb and requires an object (something that it is being done to). Begin can be used as a simple present tense verb or as a past tense verb.

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Examples: I will begin by showing you the definition of the word begin.

He began to write a book when he was 15 years old.

He began to write a book when he was 15 years old. He began writing a book when he was 15 years old.

What is Began?

The verb began is the past tense of the verb begin. The verb began is used to describe a process that began in the past.

I began walking as soon as I got up.

I have been working for this company for three years.

I started playing the piano when I was eight years old.

The verb began is also used to describe an action that is taking place at the present time:

The music began playing as soon as I turned on the radio.

The door began to open when I pushed the door.

The Similarities Between Begin and Began

Both begin and began means to start something. The context of the sentence is often important in determining which word to use.

Begin VS Began

Here are the differences between begin and began.

The tenses

Begin is an action verb. It means to start, begin or commence. It is a present tense. Began is a past tense of begin. It means to start, begin or commence in the past.

Use of time

Begin is used in the present tense to show the start of an action or event. Begin is used in the past tense to show the start of an action or event that has already happened.

The spelling

The main difference between begin and began is the spelling. Begin is spelled with an ‘i’ and began is spelled with an ‘a’.

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