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i'm Korean who struggling with the usages articles in English.

On cambridge dictionary, It describe one of the meanings of "start-up" as followed.

start-up: the act or process of starting or making something start

and as for "start"

start: the beginning of something, the act of beginning to do something

to me, those two are kinda the same.

"Once you have disabled the program, reboot the computer to see if its absence causes a problem on startup." it's an example from the dictionary.

i would say like "~ on the startup" because, 'startup' is quite specific in the context. Like "the startup of the program when you've disable the program"

as i understand, "the" as in "from the start" is used because of the same reason.

I don't want you guys saying "it's just a phrase" or "that's the way it is". :(

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"Start" can be a verb - to begin something. "Start up" can often be used the same way, for example:

  • She started a business
  • She started up a business
  • She started her car
  • She started up her car

As you can see, they are often interchangable. "Start up" (no hyphen) is just an idiomatic way of saying something started, just as "wound down" can sometimes mean the reverse.

However, 'start' can also be a noun. When it is, it will need an article because it is a specific beginning, for example:

  • She knew from the start.
  • He wanted a fresh start.
  • At the start of the film.

"Start-up" (note the hyphen) is also a noun, but is not interchangeable with the noun 'start'. A 'start-up' is a term for a new business. It is also used as a noun for the act or process of starting, such as a computer's process of booting up. It can also be used as adjective to indicate that something is related to starting something, for example "start-up costs" are the costs involved in beginning something such as a new business, but possibly other things too. If you were referring to a specific start-up, you would need an article; if it was being used as an adjective then it would depend on the noun it was modifying. Note that sometimes 'startup' may be styled as a compound word 'startup'.

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  • <On cambridge dictionary, It describe one of the meanings of "start-up" as followed. start-up: the act or process of starting or making something start> as i mentioned in my question, it has a meaning that is (almost, at least i think) interchangeable with "start". I know of that meaning (meaning of start-up) you told in your answer. I think there was an misunderstanding because of my fool English. Sorry about that. – WOOGUN Dec 6 '20 at 8:22
  • @woogun look again and you'll see that usage is also a noun. It doesn't refer to the action of starting something, it refers to the act, or the beginning. For example, i might start my computer by pressing a button, but the process of the computer loading its operating system is named 'startup'. – Astralbee Dec 6 '20 at 8:26
  • Ah,, AH hmm, interesting, I haven't thought about the difference between "act" and "action", I think there isn't that kind of distinction in Korean. Let me think about it more. Thank you very much. – WOOGUN Dec 6 '20 at 9:08
  • @woogun it's very common. Think of the verb 'to run'. When you go running, the activity is called "a run". – Astralbee Dec 6 '20 at 9:19
  • So you saying, act: start-up...etc, action: start, run.. etc but i couldn't gasp the difference between them even after a long thought. BTW, Thank you very much to spend time for me. If you have a good explanation for that, please leave a comment. Thank you in advance again. I might as well change the way to learn English. – WOOGUN Dec 6 '20 at 13:55
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Once you have disabled the program, reboot the computer to see if its absence causes a problem on startup.

startup - here it is referring to the context of starting the computer from a shut-down or power-off position. It is a general usage of starting any computer (you can find such instructions written on a guide manual or something similar) and not something very specific of starting the computer up. Hence it would not take the article.

You can't necessarily rephrase the sentence to be like:

Once you have disabled the program, reboot the computer to see if its absence causes a problem from the start.

from the start doesn't indicate the fact that whether we should check right from when the system is starting up (switching on the computer) or should we wait for the computer to start and then proceed with the activity (application up and running).


Your question contains some very obvious grammatical errors:

  • I'm Korean who is struggling with the usages of articles [...] (always capitalize alphabet "I" whether at beginning or in the middle of a sentence, when it is said as the pronoun; "is" should be included; "of" as well)

  • In the Cambridge Dictionary, it [...] ("In" not "On"; 'C' should be capitalized as it is a proper noun)

Also capitalize the first letter for every new sentence you start writing.

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  • Thank you for your answer too really. I will work on. – WOOGUN Dec 6 '20 at 13:56

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