When to use ‘start from’ and ‘start with’?
This is a really good question as choosing the appropriate preposition can be tricky at times. As hard as it may be, it is necessary to understand the differences between the two prepositions when following the verb ‘start’ as the preposition changes the meaning of the sentence.
We use ‘to start from’ when we want to refer to a starting point.
- The accountant found discrepancies in the report from the first quarter, in order to amend these discrepancies, she had to start from the first entry and work her way through the report.
On the other hand, ‘to start with’ is used when we want to refer to an object that we will start with.
- Once the accountant had gone through the report and amended the discrepancies, she had to notify her colleagues. She started with the coworkers in her office, then she notified her colleagues based overseas.
Here are more examples of the two prepositions being used with ‘start’:
- The students were required to present their findings to the rest of the class as their final assessment. The teaching recommended them to start with the phenomena they were researching, explain it to the other students, and then outline their findings.
- One student, in particular, felt very nervous presenting in front of his classmates. He was speaking so quietly and quickly that it was impossible to follow. The teacher explained this to him and asked him to start from the beginning of the presentation, speaking loudly and clearly.