Beginnings: Discussion, Idioms, Vocabulary, Quotations, Word Forms, & Tongue Twisters

Discussion Materials


  1. What have been the most significant ‘beginnings’ of your life?
  2. What have been your most memorable ‘first days’ (classes, jobs, relationships, clubs, etc.)
  3. What excites you most about new beginnings? What concerns you most?
  4. What things have you done for the first time recently?

Idioms related to Beginnings

  • The early bird catches the worm: Someone who arrives early or starts their day early has a better chance of success.
    Example: I always wake up at 5 am to study. As they say, the early bird catches the worm.
  • A breath of fresh air: A new and refreshing experience or a new perspective.
    Example: Traveling to a new country was like a breath of fresh air for me.
  • New blood: The introduction of new and fresh people, ideas, or resources to a situation.
    Example: We hired a new employee who brought new blood to the team.
  • Break new ground: To be the first to achieve or discover something.
    Example: The company’s new product broke new ground in the industry.
  • A new lease of life: A new and refreshed perspective or attitude.
    Example: After completing a yoga retreat, I felt like I had a new lease of life.
  • Go back to square one: To start over again from the beginning.
    Example: The team had to go back to square one after realizing the project plan was flawed.
  • Shake things up: To make significant changes to a situation or routine.
    Example: The new CEO decided to shake things up and change the company’s strategy.
  • Start with a clean slate: To start fresh without any preconceived notions or biases.
    Example: After resolving our disagreement, we decided to start with a clean slate and rebuild our friendship.
  • Turn over a new leaf: To start behaving in a better way or make a significant change in one’s life.
    Example: After struggling with addiction for years, John decided to turn over a new leaf and seek help.
  • Start from scratch – To start over completely from the beginning.
    Example: The chef had to start from scratch and create a new menu for the restaurant.
  • Take the plunge – To take a bold or daring step into the unknown.
    Example: After years of working as an accountant, he decided to take the plunge and pursue his passion for music.


  • “Every moment is a fresh beginning.” – T.S. Eliot
  • “Every end is a new beginning.” – Proverb
  • “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu
  • “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe
  • “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain
  • “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” – Zig Ziglar
  • “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” – Nelson Mandela
  • “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Proverb
  • “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” – Steve Jobs
  • “All great things have small beginnings.” – Peter Senge
  • “The beginning is always the hardest part, but you can always start again.” – Unknown
  • “Don’t wait for opportunities, create them.” – Unknown
  • “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” – Neale Donald Walsch
  • “The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.” – J.P. Morgan
  • “Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.” – Meister Eckhart
  • “New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.” — Lao Tzu
  • “Today is a new day, the first day of the rest of your life.” – Abbie Hoffman

Word Forms, Collocations & Various Usages

Word Forms

Noun Forms:

  • Beginning – The start or origin of something. Example: “The beginning of the movie was a bit slow.”
  • Beginner – A person who is starting to learn or do something. Example: “I’m a beginner at playing the guitar.”

Verb Forms:

  • Begin – To start or initiate something. Example: “Let’s begin the meeting now.”
  • Begins – The third-person singular form of “begin”. Example: “The concert begins at 8 pm.”
  • Began – The past tense form of “begin”. Example: “The project began last year.”
  • Begun – The past participle form of “begin”. Example: “The construction has begun on the new building.”

Adjective Forms:

  • Beginning – Describes something that is happening or starting now. Example: “This is the beginning stage of the project.”
  • Beginner – Describes something that is designed or suited for a person who is starting to learn or do something. Example: “This is a beginner-level course in programming.”


(begin + noun)

  • Begin a project: “We will begin the construction project next month.”
  • Begin a meeting: “The boss will begin the meeting with a few opening remarks.”
  • Begin a conversation: “I usually begin a conversation with small talk to break the ice.”
  • Begin a relationship: “They met at a coffee shop and began a romantic relationship.”
  • Begin a journey: “We will begin our journey early in the morning to avoid traffic.”
  • Begin a new chapter: “I decided to move to a new city and begin a new chapter in my life.”
  • Begin a sentence: “It is grammatically incorrect to begin a sentence with a conjunction.”
  • Begin a book: “The first chapter of the book begins with an intriguing quote.”
  • Begin a class: “The teacher will begin the class by introducing herself and the course.”
  • Begin an experiment: “The scientists will begin the experiment by collecting data.”

(adjective + beginnings)

  1. New beginnings: “After quitting his job, he was excited to start fresh and embrace new beginnings.”
  2. Humble beginnings: “Despite his success, he never forgot his humble beginnings and remained grounded.”
  3. Promising beginnings: “The author’s first novel had promising beginnings, and it went on to become a bestseller.”
  4. Rocky beginnings: “The team had a rocky beginning to the season, but they managed to turn things around and win the championship.”
  5. Early beginnings: “The company’s early beginnings were humble, but it grew to become a global corporation.”
  6. Strong beginnings: “A strong beginning to the presentation is crucial to grab the audience’s attention.”
  7. Happy beginnings: “Their wedding day marked the beginning of a happy new chapter in their lives.”
  8. Promising career beginnings: “The young athlete’s promising career beginnings were cut short due to an injury.”
  9. Fresh beginnings: “Moving to a new city was a fresh beginning for her, and she was excited to start a new chapter in her life.”
  10. Bright beginnings: “The children’s book had bright and colorful illustrations that set the tone for a playful and imaginative beginning.”

Synonyms and related words

  • Commencement: The beginning or start of something.
    Example: The commencement of the project was delayed due to unforeseen circumstances.
  • Inception: The beginning or origin of something.
    Example: The inception of the company was in a small garage in California.
  • Prelude: An introductory or preliminary event or action.
    Example: The meeting served as a prelude to the formal negotiations.
  • Onset: The beginning or start of something, usually unpleasant.
    Example: The onset of the pandemic caused widespread panic and disruption.
  • Dawn: The first appearance of light in the sky in the morning; the beginning of a new day.
    Example: The dawn of a new era in space exploration has begun with the successful launch of the new spacecraft.
  • Genesis: The origin or beginning of something; the creation of something.
    Example: The genesis of the new product line was a result of extensive market research.
  • Embarkation: The beginning or starting point of a journey or new project.
    Example: The embarkation point for the hiking trail was at the base of the mountain.
  • Kickoff: The beginning or start of something, often used in reference to a sporting event or project launch.
    Example: The kickoff for the new marketing campaign was a resounding success, with high levels of engagement and interest.

Sample sentences using different word forms, usages, and collocations

  1. I have begun to realize how important time management is for academic success.
  2. The beginners’ yoga class was a great way to start my fitness journey.
  3. After months of hard work, we have finally completed the beginning stages of our project.
  4. She has been a beginner gardener for years and has learned a lot along the way.
  5. The new employee has shown great initiative in the beginning stages of their job.
  6. With his beginner’s mindset, he approached the project with fresh eyes.
  7. The beginning of the semester can be overwhelming, but good organization can make a big difference.
  8. She has begun to see significant improvements in her mental health since starting therapy.
  9. The beginner’s guide to cooking has been a helpful resource for many new chefs.
  10. After the beginning stages of the project were complete, we were able to move on to more complex tasks.
  11. As a beginner writer, it’s important to practice every day and never give up.
  12. The beginning of a new relationship can be exciting but also nerve-wracking.
  13. He has been a beginner skier for years and still struggles with some of the more difficult slopes.
  14. The beginner’s Spanish course was a great way to prepare for a study abroad program.
  15. She has begun to explore different career paths in the beginning stages of her job search.

Tongue Twisters

  1. Starting fresh can be a struggle, but strive to succeed!
  2. Bold beginnings bring big benefits, but beware the bumps and blunders!
  3. Sowing seeds of success requires strength, skill, and serious strategy!
  4. The blooming bluebells begin to blossom in the bright, brilliant sunlight.
  5. The first flight from Florida to Finland flew for fourteen full hours.
  6. The initial impression of the intricate ice sculpture was incredibly impressive.
  7. The curious cat commenced its crazy caper in the cozy, comfortable cabin.
  8. The launch of the large, luxurious limousine was loudly celebrated.
  9. The inception of the innovative idea inspired immense interest and intrigue.
  10. The fantastic firework display was a festive and fun-filled finale.
  11. The tricky trivia question tested the true talent of the tenacious team.
  12. The zealous zebras were jealous of the jolly chimps and cheerful sheep zipping around the zoo.

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