What is the difference in sentences when we use 开始 and 起来 with action?


1 Answer 1


开始 means "begin" and "start" - 开始(start/begin something), 开始工作/工作开始(start work), 开始考試/考試开始(start the examine).

起来, when used alone, means "stand/get up". It is usually preceded by a verb to demand the "beginning and continuation of the action indicated by the verb" - 起来(start moving), 起来(start jumping/dance), 起来(start singing).

Note that the two can be used together with the former as redundant - 开始起来, 开始起来, 开始起来.

  • Could you please also clarify the difference using the same verb perhaps? Eg 开始工作 vs 工作起来
    – Sanchuan
    Oct 15, 2022 at 19:08
  • 工作起来 is the incorrect phrase to urge people to start work, you should say 开始工作. As mentioned, a verb shall precede the term "起来", not a noun (工作).
    – r13
    Oct 15, 2022 at 19:36
  • That's not right - 工作 is also a verb. It's true that 开始 can be used with nouns, but the question is about when to use 开始 with verbs. Both 开始 and 起来 are commonly used with verbs. So the difference lies elsewhere.
    – Sanchuan
    Oct 15, 2022 at 23:41
  • 开始唱 and 唱起来 both are correct phases, the difference is that 开始唱 gives the simple order/signal to start singing, 唱起来 demands the participants put extra effort into signing, similar to "singing louder". On the other hand, 唱开始, and 起来唱 both phrases are wrong. I think from here you can figure it out.
    – r13
    Oct 16, 2022 at 2:26
  • That's right, I agree. Thank you for clarifying that.
    – Sanchuan
    Oct 16, 2022 at 9:04

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