What's the difference between start and begin? Are the following examples equally grammatical? Do sentences 1 and 2 mean the same? Do they mean the same as sentences 3 and 4?

  1. We started to know each other
  2. We started knowing each other
  3. We began to know each other
  4. We began knowing each other

marked as duplicate by ruakh, user140086, Mari-Lou A, choster, jimm101 Feb 16 '16 at 17:36

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  • 1
    That sounds like two separate questions . . . – ruakh Feb 15 '16 at 5:41
  • 1
    Rewrite your examples. You did not use the word "begin" in either of your examples. – M. E. Feb 15 '16 at 6:15

Start and begin are very similar, but you wouldn't begin an engine, you'd start it. You might begin a journey, but you'd have to start out on one.

We started to know each other


We started knowing each other

are both somewhat awkward. Personally, I would say we were just getting to know each other to mean that we had met recently and were talking about our lives, hobbies, etc. and say we met each other if I was talking about a longer period of time.

I was just getting to know her when the party ended.


We met in college.

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