What is the difference in using start from and start with in sentences like this:

You can buy a lot of things there starting from food and finishing with clothes.

There is a related question, but the context is different.

  • 4
    I think neither is appropriate in this context, because you might as well start at cloths. I would prefer "with" simply because the repetition rhymes, if I had to chose. "from" or others seem to indicate a place, as answered below. It might be influenced by "from A to Z", which I think would be simpler. As answered, also, "to start from" narrows the meaning of "from", i.e. disambiguating it from "delivered by*".
    – vectorious
    Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 18:59
  • 1
    Using "from" makes me try to imagine food turning into clothes. Like tree starts from a seed and ends as wood.
    – Tom22
    Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 21:25
  • 2
    See also english.stackexchange.com/questions/264839/from-soup-to-nuts, which also covers "start to finish.". I'd simplify: You can buy a lot of things there, from food to clothing.
    – Xanne
    Commented Apr 7, 2017 at 0:36

1 Answer 1


Start From indicates a position or marker to reference within a sequence.

Start With indicates a set of ingredients, an a priori position, or an asserted condition.

There's also Start At, or Start On - similar to Start From

Examples: We started with the grocery aisles, and had a full cart by housewares

Start from scratch - redo a process from the beginning rather than back up a step or two and try again.

Start with the basics - don't assume prior knowledge or experience.

Starting on pole position (racing) - enumerate the lead item and then down the list

Start at the beginning, and when you reach the end, stop - Read the whole account and don't leave anything out

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