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The below sentence is from a fairy tale book.

"Gretel began to cry."

I would like to know if using started instead of began there is also okay.

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In this context the verbs begin and start mean the same thing. Begin is more formal than start. So, they are interchangeable in most contexts.

There are some exceptions, however. For example, you start an engine.

  • "Also, after start infinitive is used whereas after begin - the gerund:" -- You might want to check out my answer to this question: ell.stackexchange.com/questions/35156/… – Damkerng T. May 30 '16 at 17:00
  • @DamkerngT Thank you for the teaching. But, What you're saying is the gerund in addition to infinitive can be used after begin right? Not only the gerund. – Smart Humanism Aug 21 '16 at 15:52
  • @SmartHumanism Generally, yes, like I wrote about this in my old answer. – Damkerng T. Aug 21 '16 at 17:44

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