What Is The Past Tense Of Begin? How To Say It Right?

By Benjamin Essek

What Is The Past Tense Of Begin?

The past tense of begin is “began,” and the past participle is “begun.” 

Irregular verbs like keep, arise, awake, begin, etc., don’t comply with the regular norm of adding “-ed” to the base form to create the past tense. Rather, they have different conjugation patterns that you must learn by heart.

Check out the following table for more information:

Base Form/Infinitive Form (V1) begin
Present Form/3rd Person/Singular Form begins
Past Simple Tense Form (V2) began
Past Participle Form (V3) begun
Present Participle/Gerund beginning

How To Pronounce “Begin” And “Began” Correctly? 

The word “begin” is pronounced as /bɪˈɡɪn/, and the word “began” is pronounced as /bɪˈɡæn/ in both US and UK English.

Check the table below for more details:

Verb Forms Pronunciation 
British English language American English language
begin /bɪˈɡɪn/ /bɪˈɡɪn/


/bɪˈɡæn/ /bɪˈɡæn/


/bɪˈɡʌn/ /bɪˈɡʌn/
beginning /bɪˈɡɪnɪŋ/ /bɪˈɡɪnɪŋ/

How to pronounce begin, began, and begun correctly as English native speakers? Check out the below videos:

Begin pronunciation: 

Began pronunciation:  

Begun pronunciation:

What Are The Definitions Of Begin? How To Use Began?

Like the past tense of keep, you can use the past tense of “begin” to talk about an event that happened in the past.

Below are all meanings of “begin” and examples for each definition:

  • To start, do the first part of an action or go into the first part of a process.

Example: Yesterday, I began my day with a cup of coffee and a workout.

  • To come into existence or arise.

Example: The idea for the project began as a simple sketch on a napkin.

  • To have a starting point.

Example: The race began at the starting line in the park.

  • To start, launch something for the first time.

Example: The company began its new marketing campaign in 1990.

  • To be something first before becoming something else.

Example: He began as an intern before becoming the company’s CEO.

  • To start speaking or expressing oneself.

Example: She began, “Thank you, everyone, for coming.”

  • (Not begin to do something) To not attempt or have no ability to do something.

Example: He didn’t even begin to understand the complexity of the problem.


Created on By Benjamin Essek

Past Tense Of Begin

Choose the correct answer to fill in the blank:

1 / 7

Each chapter of this comic ____ with a quotation.

2 / 7

By the time we arrived, the party had already ____.

3 / 7

The company ____ its expansion into international markets in 1998.

4 / 7

The new project will ____ next month.

5 / 7

He ____ his journalism career before becoming a successful author in 2002.

6 / 7

The Math classes always _____ at 8 o'clock every morning.

7 / 7

Last year, a new species of bird was discovered, and it ____ to be studied by scientists.

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What Does “Charity Begins At Home” Mean?

The idiom “charity begins at home” means that one should care for their family and close friends before helping others.

Below are two examples of this idiom:

  • When will you get your dear sister a job at your company? Remember, charity begins at home!
  • She has forgotten that charity begins at home. She has no problem volunteering at the church but rarely visits her mother.

What Are The Differences Between “Begin” And “Start”?

“Start” and “begin” can be used interchangeably to convey the same meaning, but people use “begin” in a more formal context than “start.” 

“Begin” – an irregular verb – does not follow the “ed” rule when forming its past tense, while “start” is a regular verb with the V2 form being “started.” 


  • The company began the project in May last year.
  • She started her new job last week.

What Are Some Synonyms And Antonyms Of The Verb “Begin”?

Synonyms of “begin”: Start, commence, initiate, embark, launch, kick off, open, trigger, inaugurate, pioneer, introduce, create, found, and establish.

Antonyms of “begin”: close (down), shut (up), stop, end, abolish, finish, cease, conclude, and terminate. (See the past tense of stop here)