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Quick answer
"Emprender" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to undertake", and "empezar" is an intransitive verb which is often translated as "to begin". Learn more about the difference between "emprender" and "empezar" below.
emprender(
ehm
-
prehn
-
dehr
)
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to take up)
a. to undertake
Hemos emprendido una campaña dirigida a la recaudación de fondos.We have undertaken a campaign aimed at fundraising.
2. (to initiate)
a. to start (work)
En breve se emprenderán las obras de restauración de la capilla.The chapel restoration work will start shortly.
b. to start up (a business)
Si quieres emprender un negocio, antes que nada necesitas inversores.If you want to start up a business, the first thing you need is investors.
c. to embark on (a journey)
Estamos a punto de emprender nuestro viaje a Japón.We're about to embark on our journey to Japan.
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empezar(
ehm
-
peh
-
sahr
)
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
1. (to commence)
a. to begin
La nueva temporada de mi serie favorita empieza en un mes.The new season of my favorite show begins in a month.
b. to start
La palabra "serpiente" empieza con ese.The word "serpiente" begins with an s.
2. (to originate)
a. to start
La pelea empezó en la calle.The fight started in the street.
3. (to start out; used with "por" plus infinitive)
a. to begin by
Quiero empezar por decirte lo mucho que aprecio todo lo que has hecho.I want to begin by saying how much I appreciate what you've done.
b. to start by
Quiero empezar por darles la bienvenida esta noche.I'd like to start by welcoming you this evening.
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
4. (to commence)
a. to start
Ya es hora de empezar el examen.It's time to start the exam now.
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