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Hello!

Could you help me, please?

What is the difference between "first" and "at first" when they mean "in the beginning"?

Thank you!

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Maria,

You might want to think of 'at first' as an exchange for the word 'initially'.

Example:

1. At first I was terrified of the large dog.

2. Initially I was terrified of the large dog.

Both sentences mean the same thing.

Comments  

"At first" means that it began that way but changed later. "First" means number one in a list.

 EnglishUSA's reply was promoted to an answer.