Thinking about the problem:
start and begin.
Imagine you are teaching some learners of English on the topic of vocabulary to do with
starting: start, begin, commence, etc. To know how to use these words involves not just the dictionary meaning,
but also the company each word keeps.
Do you think start/begin/commence are completely interchangeable? That is, could you
use any of these words in any situation to do with starting? Think about this for a while!
Are there differences to do with :
- what kind of texts the word appears in?
- what can follow the verb?
For example, They were beginning noticing versus They were beginning to notice
- what kinds of subjects the verbs take?
For example, It was beginning to rain versus It was starting to rain
Make a note of any ideas you have about the usage of these words. At the end of the session,
look back and see how close you were!