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I thought the kanji for はじめます was:

始めます

However, one of my friends tweeted using 初:

トマト鍋初めて食べたけどおいしかった

Which is correct? Is there a difference in nuance between the two? jisho.org brings up both.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 10 down vote accepted

You are confusing the two examples. Both of your examples are correct. Why do you assume as if one in not? Only the first one is read as "はじめます".

You never use to write "はじめます". A close usage I can think of is 初めまして, which is a fixed expression and is not constructive. For writing はじめます, you always write 始めます.

  • 始める verb 'start'
  • 初めて adverb/noun 'for the first time'
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始:begining of something

初:first time thing

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3  
This is an overgeneralization, although it is true when you compare 始める and 初めて. For example, when talking about sky diving, one might say 初めは怖かったけれど慣れたら楽しくなった (I was scared at the beginning, but it became fun once I got used to it). –  Tsuyoshi Ito Feb 11 '12 at 12:58

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