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verb begin pronunciation in British English /bɪˈɡɪn/ 
Word Forms
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present tense
I/you/we/theybegin
he/she/itbegins
present participlebeginning
past tensebegan
past participlebegun
  1. 1
    [intransitive] to start happening or existing

    She felt her life was just beginning.

    The ceremony is due to begin at noon.

    My troubles began the night I met Roger.

    begin as:

    It began as a practical joke.

    1. a.
      if an activity or process begins with something, that is the first thing that happens in it
      begin with:

      All meals begin with a short prayer.

      The competition began with one of the teams being disqualified.

    2. b.
      if a sentence, book etc begins with a particular letter, word etc, that is the first one in it
      begin with:

      We usually use 'an' before a word beginning with a vowel.

    3. c.
      if a place begins somewhere, that is the first point where you consider it to be

      The Lake District begins just north of Kendal.

    4. d.
      to start speaking

      'It isn't like that', he began, but Ben interrupted him.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to start doing something
    begin doing something:

    He began shouting abuse at them.

    begin to do something:

    Suddenly the rain began to fall.

    be just beginning to do something (=to be at the earliest stage of doing something):

    The buds were just beginning to open.

    1. a.
      [transitive] to start feeling or thinking something
      begin to do something:

      Now we were beginning to feel excited.

      I was beginning to wonder if I'd ever find you!

    2. b.
      [intransitive/transitive] to make an activity or process start or exist

      The police have already begun their investigation.

      Their truck began the steep descent to the village.

      begin (something) by doing something:

      I'd like to begin by thanking you all for coming.

      begin (something) with something:

      We began the meeting with a discussion about the budget.

      begin (something) as something:

      He began his working life as a waiter.

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