Grammar Info

N4 Lesson 2: 6/17


To start, To begin to


Verb[ます+ はじめる


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About はじめる

To express that actions are beginning or ending in Japanese, the verbs (はじ)める (to commence), or ()わる (to end) will need to be used. In this lesson, we will focus on actions that are 'beginning'.
To say that (A) is starting/beginning, we will need to attach はじめる to the ます stem of almost any verb. Whether you use the hiragana form, or the kanji form does not matter, as there will be no change in nuance.
  • 来月(らいげつ)から(かね)ため(はじ)めます
    I will start saving money from next month.
  • (うた)(うた)(はじ)める
    To start singing a song.
Due to はじめる being a verb itself, the tense can be changed, to show that something will start, is starting, or has started.
  • 明日(あした)から日本語(にほんご)(なら)(はじ)める
    I will start learning Japanese from tomorrow. (Will start)
  • (あめ)()(はじ)めてきた
    It is starting to rain. (Is starting)
  • 高校生(こうこうせい)(とき)(かね)()(はじ)めた
    I started saving up money when I was in high school. (Has started)
It can be easy to accidentally use (はじ)まる, the intransitive form of this verb. However, with this expression, the transitive form will always be used, due to the verb that はじめる is attached to being the thing that 'is started', by 'something' else.




    It started to snow this morning.


    I will start learning Japanese from tomorrow.


    I started going to work after graduation from college.


    I started studying grammar after going to Japan.


    Please begin to (do) practice.

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はじめる – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (15 in total)

  • Yumari-1


    Thanks for the quick answer!

    I think I get it now. The point being that the main meaning of から is always “from/because” and if we change てから to たから, the から particle reverts back to its more primary meaning (no longer means “once … then something else”) and hence stops working with this particular example.

    I hope my understanding is not messed up.

  • Hqrshy


    I’ve seen other stuff like this and I am kind of confused. Why is it はじめた instead of はじまた because nobody is causing the snow to fall, it is falling by itself shouldn’t the intransitive version be used?

  • nekoyama


    When 始める is used as an auxiliary, the main verb is what determines transitivity. 降り始める is therefore intransitive because 降る is intransitive.

    You can think of it as 降り acting as the object for 始める.

    始まる isn’t used as an auxiliary and if it was, its past form would be 始また.

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