“Starting” Something New

Sunrise (photo by Wake Tech instructor Jaimie Newsome)

Sunrise (photo by Wake Tech instructor Jaimie Newsome)

Happy 2015!

We are entering a new year and a new school semester. It is a time to think about the year that is over and to make resolutions (goals) for the year that is starting. Read more about resolutions here.

January is a time for beginnings. Everything is new.

“Begin” and “start” are synonyms: two words that mean the same thing. There are many other words that are similar to “begin.” Let’s look at a list:

  • commence
  • initiate
  • launch
  • undertake
  • embark
  • enter upon
  • plunge into

Synonyms are similar to teach other, but each words is a little different. They each have individual nuances (small differences), so you can’t use them interchangeably.

  • “Commence” is formal. You read it in newspapers.

Example: The event commences promptly at 9:00 a.m.

  •  “Initiate” is also formal.

Example: The President initiated his speech with an apology.

  •  “Launch” implies something important. You think about rockets launching into space.

Example: Maria launched into her new career eagerly.

  •  “Undertake” implies something difficult.

Example: I’m going to undertake this project, even though it will take a year to finish.

  •  “Embark” implies something important and big.

Example: The newly married couple embarked on their journey together happily.

  •  “Enter upon” implies something serious.

Example: The young man is entering upon a new stage in his life.

  •  “Plunge into” implies starting something quickly. You think about plunging into the water.

Example: She plunged into dinner with gusto.


Think about all the things you begin. Is there a better word to describe it?

Sunrise (photo by WT instructor Jaimie Newsome)

Sunrise (photo by WT instructor Jaimie Newsome)

Here is a video about starting something new. Enjoy!

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