Begun vs. Began: Difference Between Begun and Began

You might have encountered the common conundrum of “begun vs. began” in your writing or reading endeavors. This is a common source of confusion because both words are different forms of the irregular verb “to begin,” which means to start or proceed with something. By understanding the appropriate usage of each word, you can ensure accuracy and clarity in your writing.

The Main Difference Between Begun and Began

Begun vs. Began: Key Takeaways

  • Begun is the past participle of the verb “to begin.”
  • Began is the simple past tense of the verb “to begin.”
  • Both words refer to the start of an action or event but are used differently in sentence structures.

Begun vs. Began: Difference Between Begun and Began

Begun vs. Began: The Definition

What Does Begun Mean?

Begun is the past participle form of the verb “to begin.” You use it with auxiliary verbs like “has,” “have,” or “had” to create perfect tenses. It represents an action that started in the past and either continues to the present or affects the present in some way.

For examples

  • They have begun their journey to complete the project.
  • You had begun to think about changing careers before the pandemic.

What Does Began Mean?

Began is the simple past tense form of the verb “to begin.” You use it to describe an action that started and ended entirely in the past.

For examples

  • The concert began at 7 PM yesterday.
  • She began painting three hours ago.

Tips to Remember the Differences

  • Begun is a past participle and requires an auxiliary verb (has, have, or had).
  • Began is the simple past tense and does not require an auxiliary verb.
  • Pay attention to the sentence structure to determine which one to use.

Begun vs. Began: Examples

Example Sentences Using Begun

Begun is the past participle of begin, and it is used with a helping verb such as “have,”  “has” or “had”. It often refers to actions that started in the past and continue to have an impact on the present. Here are some examples:

  • The project has begun to show promising results.
  • They had already begun cooking when we arrived.
  • The team has begun implementing the new software system.
  • The students have begun their final exams.
  • He has begun to realize the importance of time management.
  • The company had begun the process of expansion before the economic downturn.
  • She had begun her journey before the sun rose.
  • The chef had begun preparing the meal when the guests arrived.
  • The investigation had begun long before the evidence was discovered.
  • The artist had begun sketching the portrait when inspiration struck.

Example Sentences Using Began

On the other hand, began is the simple past tense of begin. It is used without a helping verb and refers to actions that started and occurred entirely in the past. Here are some examples:

  • The sun began to set, casting a warm glow over the horizon.
  • The construction of the new building began last month.
  • They began their journey before dawn to avoid the traffic.
  • The meeting began with a brief introduction from the chairperson.
  • He began to feel more confident as he gained experience in his new role.
  • The children began to play as soon as they arrived at the park.
  • The movie began with an intense action sequence.
  • She began to realize the importance of time management as her workload increased.
  • She began writing her novel last year.
  • They began to decorate the house for the party.