What is the difference between "before the industrial revolution begin" and "before the industrial revolution begun"?

before the industrial revolution [---], everything was handmade, meaning there were errors.

My thinking for this question was that the before the IR was started there was not IR (what starts, before it starts?) - somehow time travelling or transferring myself to the time before the IR (we do go to different times when writing articles and thereon, making "before the industrial revolution begin" correct.

On the other hand, IR happened in the past (I mean it is history) therefore, It paves the way to say that "before the industrial revolution begun" is correct. (same of saying "before [something that happened in the past]")

I read some sources of IR but nothing of them include the phrase I am saying.

I also considered "had begun". Also what about "would have begun/begin/began?

  • 3
    'begin' and 'begun' are not grammatical (the correct form is 'began' and 'had begun' works too), but neither is the last part of the sentence (that should be "meaning there were errors").
    – Glorfindel
    Commented Oct 17, 2021 at 14:38
  • @Glorfindel I get the part of the last part of my sentence, but you have jumbles 2 or 3 facts in one sentence and I can really understand. Commented Oct 18, 2021 at 3:13

1 Answer 1


Both are wrong. It's a matter of tense.

  • You can't use 'begin' as that is the infinitive form of the verb and you are talking about the past.

  • 'Began' is the simple past participle of the verb to begin. It does not need an auxiliary verb.

  • 'Begun' is the past participle of the same verb but requires the auxiliary verb.

So, you could say either:

Before the industrial revolution began...


Before the industrial revolution had begun...

and of course, you could also convey the same meaning using a noun instead of the verb at all:

Before the beginning of the industrial revolution...

  • Check my edit for the question. Commented Oct 18, 2021 at 3:13
  • 'Time travelling' doesn't come into it - it's just a statement of historical fact. And would have has no place here because we know that the Industrial Revolution did have a beginning. Commented Oct 18, 2021 at 8:16
  • Future clarification: I learnt and got what you said, but [for my laziness] I left the essay as is and the corrector (frankly my grandfather, don't ask me why) basically changed "begun" to "began". Don't know if he thought I misspelled it/ thinko-ed it or he corrected it for me. Commented Oct 22, 2021 at 9:16

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .