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This question already has an answer here:

What is the difference between 始める{はじめる} (hajimeru) and 始まる{はじまる} (hajimaru)?

Would appreciate some advice on this.

Thanks

marked as duplicate by Dono, macraf, Earthliŋ Oct 31 '16 at 12:18

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In a nutshell, both hajimeru and hajimaru mean "to start".

More specifically, hajimeru is transitive -- "to start something". Meanwhile, hajimaru is intransitive -- it cannot take an object, so "something starts (on its own)".

There are several verb pairs like this, all with -meru / -maru endings: hiromeru "to widen something" vs. hiromaru "something widens (on its own)"; katameru "to harden something" vs. katamaru "something hardens on its own"; osameru "to quell something, to put something under control" vs. osamaru "something quells, something becomes under control", etc. etc.

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  • 始める : transitive

    会議始めましょう! Let's start the meeting!

  • 始まる : intransitive

    会議始まりました。The meeting has begun.

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One is transitive (has an object), the other one is intransitive (doesn't have an object).

  • 始める - to begin (something)
  • 始まる - to begin

今日新しいダイエットを始めた
- I started a new diet today.

新しいダイエットは今日から始まる
- My new diet starts today.

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