Grammar Info

N4 Lesson 2: 6/17

(はじ)める

To start, To begin to

Structure

Verb[ます+ はじめる

Details

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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)
Caution
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.

Examples

  • 今朝(けさ)(ゆき)()(はじ)

    It started to snow this morning.

  • 明日(あした)から日本語(にほんご)(なら)(はじ)ます

    I will start learning Japanese from tomorrow.

  • 大学(だいがく)卒業(そつぎょう)してから仕事(しごと)()(はじ)

    I started going to work after graduation from college.

  • 日本(にほん)()ってから文法(ぶんぽう)勉強(べんきょう)(はじ)

    I started studying grammar after going to Japan.

  • 練習(れんしゅう)(はじ)てください

    Please begin to practice.

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はじめる – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (13 in total)

  • Yumari-1

    Yumari-1

    About 4 months ago

    Actually, I want to start by saying I’m no longer sure if this is even the right place to ask, since seemingly these threads dedicated to specific grammar points are all dead with last reply a year or more in the past.
    But it does redirect you here from the question so here’s hoping…

    So I’m wondering about the above point. I was hit with the following question:

    彼が___から1時間経った。(話す)
    
    ...
  • Fuga

    Fuga

    About 4 months ago

    Hey @Yumari-1 !

    For this question we are looking for an answers that has the nuance of ‘since’ so 〜たから would not work.

    彼が話し始めたから1時間経った。An hour has passed because he started talking (Because he started talking, an hour has passed).
    彼が話し始めてから1時間経った。 It has been an hour since he started talking (An hour has passes from the time he started talking).

    I hope that this answers your question!

  • Yumari-1

    Yumari-1

    About 4 months ago

    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.

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