commence


commence
commence, begin, start
1. Commence is a more formal Latinate word for begin or start. Fowler's advice (1926) was to use begin and its derivatives except when these seem incongruous (which is in fact rare); occasions when commence is more appropriate include official announcements, statements of historical importance, and suchlike. It is therefore a sound rule to use begin in all ordinary contexts unless start is customary (e.g. The engine started at once / They usually start work at 9.30 / The game started on time), and to reserve commence for more formal occasions, such as the law (to commence an action), warfare (Hostilities commenced on 4 August), and the domain of ceremonial (The procession will commence at 2 p.m.).
2. Constructions available to commence are more limited than to begin; in particular begin can more readily be followed by a to-infinitive, whereas a verbal noun is now more natural after commence: They began to eat or They began eating but They commenced eating. However, commence + to will be found in older writing. Definitely to be avoided is a mixed style of to + verbal noun:

• ☒ Then he commenced to coming by our place —M. Golden, 1989.


Modern English usage. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Commence — Com*mence (k[o^]m*m[e^]ns ), v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Commenced} (k[o^]m*m[e^]nst ); p. pr. & vb. n. {Commencing}.] [F. commencer, OF. comencier, fr. L. com + initiare to begin. See {Initiate}.] 1. To have a beginning or origin; to originate; to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Commence — Com*mence , v. t. To enter upon; to begin; to perform the first act of. [1913 Webster] Many a wooer doth commence his suit. Shak. [1913 Webster] Note: It is the practice of good writers to use the verbal noun (instead of the infinitive with to)… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • commence — verb (commenced; commencing) Etymology: Middle English comencen, from Anglo French comencer, from Vulgar Latin *cominitiare, from Latin com + Late Latin initiare to begin, from Latin, to initiate Date: 14th century transitive verb to enter upon ; …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • commence — commenceable, adj. commencer, n. /keuh mens /, v.i., v.t., commenced, commencing. to begin; start. [1250 1300; ME commencen < AF, MF comencer < VL *cominitiare, equiv. to L com COM + initiare to begin; see INITIATE] Syn. originate, inaugurate.… …   Universalium

  • commence — verb /kəˈmɛns/ To begin, start. Ant: cease See Also: commencement …   Wiktionary

  • Commence Corporation — Type Privately Held Corporation Industry Computer software Founded Red Bank, NJ (1988) Headquarters Tinton Falls, NJ Key people Larry Carets …   Wikipedia

  • Que le spectacle commence (Buffy) — Que le spectacle commence Épisode de Buffy contre les vampires Titre original Once More, With Feeling Numéro d’épisode Saison 6 Épisode 7 Invité(s) Anthony Stewart Head, dans le rôle de Rupert Giles Réalisation Joss Whedon …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Ca commence aujourd'hui — Ça commence aujourd hui Ça commence aujourd hui est un film français réalisé par Bertrand Tavernier, sorti en 1999. Sommaire 1 Synopsis 2 Fiche technique 3 Distribution 4 Distinctions …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Que Le Spectacle Commence —  Ne doit pas être confondu avec Que le Spectacle Commence (Buffy). Que le spectacle commence Titre original All That Jazz Réalisation Bob Fosse Acteurs principaux Roy Sche …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Que La Fête Commence — est un film historique français réalisé par Bertrand Tavernier, sorti en 1975, à partir de l histoire vraie de la conspiration de Pontcallec au XVIIIe siècle avec Philippe Noiret, Jean Rochefort et Jean Pierre Marielle. Sommaire 1 Synopsis …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Que La Fête Commence... — est un film historique français réalisé par Bertrand Tavernier, sorti en 1975, à partir de l histoire vraie de la conspiration de Pontcallec au XVIIIe siècle avec Philippe Noiret, Jean Rochefort et Jean Pierre Marielle. Sommaire 1 Synopsis …   Wikipédia en Français


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