transitive verb
1. (to begin) 
a. comenzar 
We start classes in September.Comenzaremos las clases en septiembre.
b. empezar 
They said they'll start the movie in half an hour.Dijeron que empezarán la película en media hora.
c. iniciar 
We started our long trip by stopping in Montreal.Iniciamos nuestro largo viaje parando en Montreal.
2. (to cause to begin) 
a. empezar 
A group of students started the anti-war movement.Un grupo de estudiantes empezó el movimiento contra la guerra.
b. iniciar 
The sound of the gun started the race.El sonido de la pistola inició la carrera.
The teacher started the course with a speech.El profesor dio comienzo al curso con un discurso.
d. provocar 
That cigarette started the fire.Ese cigarrillo provocó el fuego.
The conflict started a turf war.El conflicto desencadenó una guerra territorial.
3. (to cause to operate) 
a. encender 
You can't start the hair dryer because the power cord is unplugged.No puedes encender el secador de pelo porque el cable está desenchufado.
b. arrancar 
If you cannot start your car, I will take you.Si no puedes arrancar el coche, te llevaré yo.
I could not start the motorcycle because its tank was empty.No pude poner en marcha la moto porque el depósito estaba vacío.
4. (to found) 
a. montar 
My cousin started a business recently.Mi primo montó un negocio hace poco.
b. fundar 
The company was started by my grandfather in 1950.Mi abuelo fundó la empresa en 1950.
c. poner 
I started a clothing store last year.Puse una tienda de ropa el año pasado.
My boss started this empire with just one store.Mi jefe puso en marcha este imperio con solo una tienda.
intransitive verb
5. (to begin) 
a. empezar 
The day had started badly, and did not improve.El día había empezado mal y no mejoró.
b. comenzar 
Now that we are all here, let's get started.Ahora que estamos todos, comencemos.
6. (to originate) 
a. empezar 
It all started when he decided to go abroad.Todo empezó cuando decidió irse al extranjero.
7. (to set out) 
a. no direct translation 
They started early in the morning. Emprendieron camino temprano por la mañana.
We started from Ponce, and now we are here.Partimos de Ponce y ahora estamos aquí.
8. (to cause to operate) 
a. arrancar 
My car won't start, so I had to take the bus.Mi coche no arranca, así que tuve que coger el autobús.
If the lawn mower doesn't start, clean the filters.Si la cortacésped no se pone en marcha, limpia los filtros.
9. (to move suddenly) 
The baby started at the sudden noise.El bebé se sobresaltó con el ruido repentino.
10. (to protrude) 
a. salirse 
His eyes started when he saw her in that red dress.Se le salían los ojos cuando la vio con ese vestido rojo.
11. (beginning) 
The start of the tournament will take place at two o'clock.El comienzo de torneo tendrá lugar a las dos en punto.
Be patient at the start of the race, save your strength.Ten paciencia al principio de la carrera, ahorra fuerzas.
12. (departure point) 
a. la salida (F) 
The start of the race will be on my street.La salida de la carrera será en mi calle.
Please, all runners go to the start.Por favor, todos los corredores acudan a la salida.
The runners left the start at nine o'clock.Los corredores salieron de la línea de partida a las nueve en punto.
13. (sudden movement) 
a. no direct translation 
I woke up with a start because I thought I was late for work.Me levanté sobresaltado porque pensé que iba tarde para el trabajo.
The student gave a start when the teacher called his name.El alumno dio un respingo cuando el profesor dijo su nombre.
14. (sport) 
Our team had a five-minute start over our competitors.Nuestro equipo tuvo una ventaja de cinco minutos sobre nuestros contrincantes.
1. principio (m) comienzo (m) (beginning) ; salida (f) (starting place, of race)
  • for a start para empezar
  • at the start al principio
  • at the start of the month a principios de mes
  • from the start desde el principio
  • from start to finish de principio a fin
  • to make a start on something empezar con algo
  • he lent her £500 to give her a start le prestó 500 libras para ayudarla a empezar
  • to give somebody a 60 meter(s) start dar a alguien una ventaja de 60 metros (in race)
2. susto (m) sobresalto (m) (sudden movement)
  • to wake with a start despertarse sobresaltado(a)
  • to give somebody a start sobresaltar a alguien, dar un susto a alguien (frighten)
transitive verb
3. empezar, comenzar (begin) ; entablar, iniciar (conversation, talks) ; promover, poner en circulación (fashion, rumor) ; ocasionar, provocar (fire) ;
  • to start school empezar el colegio
  • to start doing something, to start to do something ponerse or empezar a hacer algo
  • it's just started raining acaba de ponerse or empezar a llover
  • to get started empezar
4. arrancar, poner en marcha (cause to start) (machine, engine, car)
intransitive verb
5. empezar, comenzar (begin)
  • to start at the beginning empezar por el principio
  • to start by doing something comenzar haciendo algo
  • she had started as a doctor había comenzado trabajando como médica
  • to start with para empezar
  • to start on something empezar algo
  • now don't YOU start! ¡no empieces!, ¡no empecemos!
6. sobresaltarse (be frightened)
  • to start out of one's sleep despertarse sobresaltado(a)
7. salir, partir (begin journey)
8. arrancar (car, engine)
start [stɑːt]
1 (beginning) principio (m); comienzo (m)
...the start of the academic year That was the start of all the trouble
at the start al principio; en un principio
at the very start muy al principio; en los mismos comienzos; at the start of the century a principios del siglo; we are at the start of something big estamos en los comienzos de algo grandioso
for a start en primer lugar; para empezar
from the start desde el principio
from start to finish desde el principio hasta el fin
to get a good start in life disfrutar de una infancia privilegiada
This can lead to jealousy if the child feels that his peers have got a better start in life than he has
to get off to a good/bad/slow start empezar bien/mal/lentamente
to give sb a (good) start in life ayudar a algn a situarse en la vida
They gave their son a good start in life
to make a start empezar
to make a start on the painting empezar a pintar
I think I'll make a start on the decorating this weekend
to make an early start (on journey) ponerse en camino temprano; (with job) empezar temprano; to make a fresh or new start in life hacer vida nueva
2 (departure) salida (f); also (Dep)
... to be lined uo for the start The whistle blew for the start of the race
(starting line) línea (f) de salida
The runners were gathering at the start
3 (advantage) ventaja (f)
to give sb five minutes' or a five-minute start dar a algn cinco minutos de ventaja
to give sb 10 metres' a 10-metre start
to have a start on sb tener ventaja sobre algn
4 (fright etc) susto (m); sobresalto (m)
to give sb a start asustar or dar un susto a algn
to give a sudden start sobresaltarse; what a start you gave me! ¡qué susto me diste!
to wake with a start despertarse sobresaltado
transitive verb
1 (begin) empezar; comenzar; [+discussion etc] abrir; iniciar
He started a conversation with a woman who turned out to be the ambassador's wife
[+bottle] abrir; [+quarrel, argument] empezar
They started the argument in the pub and continued it at home
[+journey] iniciar
In France the visit of the Turkish Ambassador to the Court of Louis XIV started a fashion for all things Turkish After a short rest we started the long journey home
to start a new cheque book/page comenzar or empezar un talonario nuevo/una página nueva
He picked up his pen and started a new page
don't start that again! ¡no vuelvas a eso!; to start doing sth or to do sth empezar a hacer algo
I started to think you weren't coming It soon started to rain
start moving! ¡menearse!; start talking! ¡desembucha!
to start sth again or afresh comenzar or empezar algo de nuevo
Finally I scrapped my original manuscript and started the book again
to start the day right empezar bien el día
He also reflects that the early morning drinking - a couple of large ones to start the day right - was in some ways the start of his downfall
he always starts the day with a glass of milk lo primero que toma cada mañana es un vaso de leche
he started life as a labourer empezó de or como peón
to start a new life comenzar una vida nueva
to start negotiations iniciar or entablar las pláticas
to start a novel empezar a escribir (or leer) una novela
to start school empezar a ir al colegio
Relatively few nurseries - whether state or privately run - will take children under two; nor are your problems over once children start school
he started work yesterday entró a trabajar ayer
2 (cause to begin or happen) [+fire] provocar; [+war] [+person, country] empezar; iniciar; [+incident, act] desencadenar
Why on earth would a tinpot dictator choose to start a war with a superpower like the US?
[+fashion] empezar; iniciar; [+rumour, tradition] iniciar; dar comienzo a
Why should Simpson have wanted to kill us? All you're doing is starting yet another rumour, making more trouble!
it started the collapse of the empire provocó el derrumbamiento del imperio; you started it! ¡tú diste el primer golpe!
to start a family (empezar a) tener hijos
to start a race (give signal for) dar la señal de salida para una carrera
to get started empezar; ponerse en marcha
Once I get started, I work very quickly
let's get started empecemos
Come on, let's get started now. We've wasted enough time already
to get sth started [+engine, car] poner algo en marcha; arrancar algo; [+project] poner algo en marcha
We'd better get out of here fast. I'll get the engine started I couldn't get the bloody car started again this morning I want to earn enough money and get my own farm started
to get sb started (on activity) poner a algn en marcha; (in career) iniciar a algn en su carrera
Sometimes there is so much to see in the landscape that we are unable to focus on a manageable area of it and therefore fail to find a good subject. On these occasions I find the viewfinder can be a very helpful device to get me started
Initially it was a grant from the Arts Council that helped to get them started
to get started on (doing) sth empezar a hacer algo
I want to get started on decorating the house as soon as I can
to get sb started on (doing) sth poner a algn a hacer algo
I'll get him started on the clearing-up Jessie meets briefly with the first group of students, to get them started on their writing
4 (found) (also start up) [+business] montar; poner; [+newspaper] fundar; establecer
5 (also start up) [+car, engine] arrancar; poner en marcha; [+clock] poner en marcha
6 (with personal object)
don't start him (off) on that! ¡no le des cuerda!; to start sb (off) reminiscing hacer que algn empiece a contar sus recuerdos; that started him (off) sneezing eso le hizo empezar a estornudar
She covered the pizza with black pepper, which of course started him sneezing again
to start sb (off) on a career ayudar a algn a emprender una carrera; they started her (off) in the sales department la emplearon primero en la sección de ventas
7 (disturb)
to start (up) a partridge levantar una perdiz
intransitive verb
1 (begin) empezar; comenzar; [+conversation, discussion] iniciarse; [+quarrel, argument] producirse; [+fashion] empezar; iniciar; [+war] estallar; empezar; [+rumour, tradition] originarse; [+fire] empezar; iniciarse; [+music] empezar
We must start at once A discussion started among three of the officials An argument started at the next table The fashion apparently started back in the 19th century The war started in December and continued until the following spring A rumour started that 500 jobs were to be lost The fire started in the attic and quickly spread to the rest of the house
The lights dimmed and the music started
classes start on Monday las clases comienzan or empiezan el lunes; that's when the trouble started entonces fue cuando empezaron los problemas; it all started when he refused to pay todo empezó cuando se negó a pagar; it started (off) rather well/badly [+film, match] empezó bastante bien/mal
to start again or afresh volver a empezar; comenzar de nuevo
he started (off or out) as a postman empezó como or de cartero
he started (off or out) as a Marxist empezó como marxista
to start at the beginning empezar desde el principio
he started (off) by saying ... empezó por decir or diciendo ...
the route starts from here la ruta sale de aquí
starting from Tuesday a partir del martes
to start (out or up) in business montar or poner un negocio
to start (off) with ... (firstly) en primer lugar ...; para empezar ...
Well, to start with, this is quite untrue ...
(at the beginning) al principio ...; en un principio ...
To start with, there were only 3 of them but later ... We only had 25 pounds to start with
what shall we start (off) with? ¿con qué empezamos?; to start (off) with a prayer empezar con una oración; he started (off or out) with the intention of writing a thesis empezó con la intención de escribir una tesis
2 (embark)
to start on a task emprender una tarea
to start on something new emprender algo nuevo; to start on a book (begin reading) empezar a leer un libro; (begin writing) empezar a escribir un libro
I've got a whole pile of books I haven't started on yet
How long ago did you start on the book and where did the idea come from?
to start on a course of study empezar un curso
When do you start on your Spanish course?
they started on another bottle abrieron or empezaron otra botella
3 (also start off) (also start out) (on journey) [+person] partir; ponerse en camino; [+bus, train, runner] salir
Ten horses started but only three finished
to start (off or out) from London/for Madrid salir de Londres/partir con rumbo a or para Madrid
he started (off) along the coridor
he started (off) down the street empezó a caminar calle abajo
4 (also start up) [+car, engine] arrancar; ponerse en marcha
The car won't start
[+washing machine] ponerse en marcha
5 (jump nervously) asustarse; sobresaltarse;at a
to start from one's chair levantarse asustado de su silla; tears started to her eyes se le llenaron los ojos de lágrimas
his eyes were starting out of his head se le saltaban los ojos de la cara
6 [+timber etc] combarse; torcerse; [+rivets etc] soltarse
starting [ˈstɑːtɪŋ]
starting block (n) (Athletics) taco (m) de salida
to be on the starting blocks
starting gate (n) (US) (Horse Racing) cajón (m) de salida; parrilla (f) de salida
starting grid (n) (Motor Racing) parrilla (f) de arranque
starting handle (n) (Britain) (Aut) manivela (f) de arranque
starting line (n) (Athletics) línea (f) de salida
starting point (n) punto (m) de partida
starting post (n) (Dep) poste (m) de salida
starting price (n) (St Ex) cotización (f)
starting salary (n) sueldo (m) inicial
starting stalls (n) (Britain) (Horse Racing) cajones (m) de salida
Verb Conjugations for comenzar
Past Participle: comenzado
Irregularities are in red
View complete conjugation for comenzar
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