The verbs Begin and Start are virtually interchangeable, and both verbs can be transitive or intransitive, but Start is commonly used in spoken English.
- It started/began to snow. [=It started/began snowing.]
- When I gave her the bad news, she started/began to cry.
- I got a job at a hotel and I begin/start work on Monday.
- I started/began (reading) this book a few days ago.
- When did the concert begin/start?
- The word ‘animal’ begins/starts with the letter ‘a’.
Begin is an irregular verb; its three forms are begin, began, begun. Begin is a little more formal than Start.
- Let us begin the meeting by reviewing the results.
We use Begin to mean ‘to start speaking’.
- ‘Good evening everybody’, he began, ‘Welcome to the show’.
‘Good evening everybody’’, he started,…
- I don’t know how to begin.
Start is a regular verb; its three forms are start, started, started.
Start, but not Begin, is used to mean ‘to create a business or organization’.
- I decided to start a retail shop.
to begin a retail shop.
- He started his own company after graduating from college.
Start, but not Begin, is used to mean ‘to switch on a machine or engine’ or ‘to make them work’.
- He started the car and drove home.
He began the car…
- At last the car started.
We can use ‘off’, ‘up’ or ‘out’ after Start.
- She started up her own small business.
- The car won’t start up.
- We’ll start the meal off with chicken soup.
- The day started out beautifully.
Commence (formal) and Kick off (informal) are the other verbs that mean ‘to start or begin’
- She commenced her teaching career in New York.
- The contract commences on the first day of the fiscal year.
- Tonight's game kicks off at 3 pm.
In summary, there is not a significant difference between Begin and Start, and they have almost the same meaning, but Begin is not possible to use in some cases.