Began/begun?

5 replies
Guest:
Hello all

Can somebody please explain to me when to use began and when to use begun. I would like some examples please.

thanx a lot in advance.
'Began' is the simple past form: 'I began to study Greek last September'.

'Begun' is the past participial form: 'I have not yet begun to study Latin'; 'His social studies, begun in the 1960s, are still uncompleted.'
Veteran Member88,889
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One problem you have to remind is some people use 'began' for 'begun'.

My google survey resulted in:
have/'ve began .... 62,480
has began .......51,300
had began .......51,000

paco
Senior Member4,095
Retired Moderator: A moderator who has retired.
There are illiterate people out there for sure, paco, and we get our share of them on the internet. As we were speaking of on the 'to...too' thread, watch out for google statistics! I don't think that we have to remind anyone that some people err.

In this case, 62,000 (X 'have began') out of 3,000,000 ('have begun') or 51,000 (X 'has began') out of 3,700,000 ('has begun') is a minor percentage. When I sample via Google like this, I always try to remember that a small percentage of all samples are input by aliens.
SystemAdministrator: A system administrator takes care of the inner workings of the entire system. These users have the ability to promote, ban and modify other users.Teachers: Users in this role are certified teachers. This may include DELTA, CELTA, TESOL, TEFL qualified professionals. Email a scan of your qualification to an admin, if you wish to be considered.
Hello MrMicawber

I put my message as an answer to Guest. I'm sorry if you took it as the one addressed to you.

Yes, as you suggest, it is a problem to use the numbers of the net sites where a target usage for the purpose of knowing whether the usage is appropriate or not. We have to know its ratio to the site numbers of possibly right usages. Another problem of using google as a linguistic corpus is, as you told, many non-native English speakers put their messages in English. I know it well. So I often try to restrict the domains to survey into "site:.edu" or/and "site:.uk". But still I often get doubtful about the values of google as a good corpus. It's very difficult at least for me to know, only through google surveys, what degree of acceptability/formality a target word usage has.

paco
Retired Moderator: A moderator who has retired.
Anonymous:
Thank you. I see 'begun' used wrongly so often these days I needed to see I wasn't hallucinating. :-)
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