Empezar/comenzar a = to begin/start doing something (perífrasis verbal)

In Spanish there is a common verbal structure used to indicate starting actions, using Spanish verbs empezar or comenzar.

Learn how to say "to start doing something" in Spanish

In Spanish we use this verbal structure (known in grammar jargon La perífrasis verbal) to express "To begin/start doing[something]".

Empezar/comenzar (conjugated) aInfinitivo

Have a look and listen to the following examples in different tenses:

Yo he empezado a bailar esta semana.I started dancing this week.

Manuel comienza a gritar cuando no lo escuchas.Manuel starts shouting when you don't listen to him.

Nosotros empezaremos a estudiar alemán la semana que viene.We will start studying German next week.

Ellos comenzaron a construir las casas ayer.They started building the houses yesterday.

Ustedes han empezado a resolver sus problemas solos.You've started to solve your problems by yourselves.

Notice how the preposition "a" always follows empezar/comenzar. In Spanish, unlike in English, after "a" we do not use a gerund (-ing form) but the infinitive.

Marcos empieza a trabajar hoy.
Marcos empieza a trabajando hoy.
Marcos begins/starts to work today.

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Examples and resources

Yo he empezado a bailar esta semana.I started dancing this week.
Nosotros empezaremos a estudiar alemán la semana que viene.We will start studying German next week.
Ellos comenzaron a construir las casas ayer.They started building the houses yesterday.
Manuel comienza a gritar cuando no lo escuchas.Manuel starts shouting when you don't listen to him.
Ustedes han empezado a resolver sus problemas solos.You've started to solve your problems by yourselves.
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