"Anfangen" vs. "Beginnen" in German

Hello everyone,

What is the difference between the German words "Anfangen" and "Beginnen"?

I've heard that "Beginnen" is more formal and inseparable while "Anfangen" is used informally and is separable. Is that correct?

Thank you! AP4418

May 18, 2018


you're right about anfangen being separable and beginnen being non-separable. I too have heard that beginnen can be seen as slightly more formal, but i'm not qualified to answer that.
You might like to compare with starten :)

WIKI SAYS: Beginnen is relatively rare in colloquial German and is most often replaced with anfangen. This is particularly true of the sense “to start something”. In literary German, beginnen is often preferred to anfangen, though both are perfectly acceptable.

May 18, 2018

Ah great! Thanks npLam!

May 18, 2018

Mhm, as a German I can tell you that both words are used rather often.

If you start a work you would prefer to say: "Ich beginne meine Arbeit am Montag" but if I had no object I would say: "Ich starte um 8 Uhr."

But you could use both of them interchangeable. :-))

May 18, 2018

Thanks tutor! Salut! This helped alot.

May 18, 2018

You are welcome..

May 18, 2018
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