Grammar Patterns

V n by n

The 'begin' and 'end' group

These verbs are concerned with beginning or ending a task, session, career, or period of time. The prepositional phrase indicates what someone does at the beginning or end of this period. We include here the verb preface, which involves saying something before making a remark or a speech, answer, which involves answering a question in a particular way, and crown, which involves finishing your career in a particularly successful way.With these verbs the preposition by is usually followed by an '-ing' clause rather than a noun group.
Verbs with this meaning do not often occur in the passive.
He answered the question by denying that any unusual troop movements were taking place.
When my grandfather's education finished, he began his engineering career by building ice factories.
The president has ended his visit to Japan by inviting the Emperor to pay a return visit.
The senator prefaced his round of questions by saying that everyone makes mistakes and that the committee should be careful not to set too high a standard.
He started off this particular interview by saying, 'Yes, I think you're on to a good idea.'
  • answer
  • begin
  • close
  • crown
  • end
  • finish
  • open
  • preface
  • start
  • finish off
  • finish up
  • start off
  • start out
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