All three of these words mean "to start", but what's the difference between them and where are they used?
Difference between verb types (verbal nouns, transitive & intransitive: eg 開始, 始める and 始まる)
I like this question because it is a good simple example of the three main verb types in Japanese, verbal nouns, transitive verbs and intransitive verbs. But I suspect this type of question about verbs has been asked before, just with a different verb triplet.– taylorAug 25, 2012 at 16:45
@Taylor: I agree, perhaps we need a more generic title for the question.– TimAug 26, 2012 at 2:57
Should I edit my question so it's more generalised and with the current words as an example?– 小太郎Aug 27, 2012 at 6:02
I think it is a good idea but it is your q.– TimAug 29, 2012 at 6:30
...now I think about it, I don't really know how to generalise this question. Maybe someone else could edit it for me?– 小太郎Aug 29, 2012 at 7:43
始まる is an intransitive verb. Hence, it does not have a direct object, ex "Something starts ".
始める is a transitive verb. Hence, it has a direct object, ex "Someone starts something".
開始 is a noun. You can make it into a verb by adding suru.
4Then what would be the difference between 開始する and the others?– 小太郎Aug 25, 2012 at 12:42
This is an extension of Dono's response.
開始 contains two kanji, 開く meaning to open and 始まる／める which we know from Dono means begin. Not surprisingly, 開始 can take on either single character in certain circumstances. To demonstrate this I have posted some examples of how 開始 gets used as a verb with する from the Apple dictionary below. In general compound verbs like this get used in more formal/written Japanese.
Note: I agree with Taylor's comment, fair question but if this is the first time you have come across this kind of thing then I should take this as one example and get ready for lots more cases like this or other variations.
かいし【開始】:(an) opening; a beginning; commencement
開始する｜begin; start; ｟文語｠ commence
この支店は4月10日から業務を開始する｜This branch (office) will [open for / start] business on April 10.
試合開始のサイレンが鳴った｜A siren sounded to announce the beginning of the game.
攻撃を開始する｜launch [open] an attack ｟on the enemy｠
委員会はその件の調査を開始した｜The committee opened [launched] an investigation of the matter.
いよいよ行動開始の時だ｜Now we must go into action.
昨日両都市間のバス運行が開始された｜Bus service between the two cities was inaugurated yesterday.
日本とアメリカは明日交渉を開始する｜Japan and the U.S. open [enter into] negotiations tomorrow.
I think the OP was also asking about how Noun+する verbs operate in terms of transitivity. Are you saying that ～を開始する is transitive, and ～が開始される (in the passive) is the intransitive counterpart?– kandymanDec 4, 2018 at 11:44