I'm currently trying to figure out how to begin a sentence in Chinese with, "at the start of the year", my friend told me... etc.

I've heard that "at the start of the year" is 今年伊始。But can you really say, "今年伊始", or do you need to say, "今年伊始的时候?"

Thanks in advance to whoever can solve this one!

  • 3
    You can simply use 今年初,我朋友告訴我....
    – user-487
    Mar 20, 2017 at 11:38
  • Thankyou very much!! That helps a lot!
    – Sulfly
    Mar 20, 2017 at 11:42
  • enter "at the start of the year" into jukuu: 21 example sentences, 在年初,年初,今年年初
    – user6065
    Mar 20, 2017 at 12:02
  • You can not say 今年伊始, (This year the beginning, not make sense), 伊始 at today is became a part of the 成语: 新年伊始(From the new year). Do not use it in other expressions, it is weird.
    – sfy
    Mar 20, 2017 at 13:47

2 Answers 2


'伊始' is mostly used in literal form, a classical counterpart of a common phrase '開始'(begin)

[伊始] 开端;开始。伊,助词,无实义

[伊始] 'start; begin. [伊] auxiliary word, no real meaning

"At the start of the year," should be translated as:

  • "在年初"(at the start of the year)

  • "今年初"(at the start of this year).

"今年開始的时候" is grammatically correct but, too wordy for day-to-day speech.

"今年伊始", or do you need to say, "今年伊始的时候?"

"今年伊始" = "at the start of this year"

"今年伊始的时候" = at the time this year begun"

You can use either.


“伊始”in chinese already includes the meaning of 'the starting of something'. So “时候” in “今年伊始的时候” is sort of redundant.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.