begin: [OE] Begin comes from a prehistoric West Germanic compound verb *biginnan, which also produced German and Dutch beginnen; the origin of the second element, *ginnan, is not known for certain. The form gin was common in the Middle Ages and up until about 1600; this was a shortening, perhaps not so much of begin as of the now obsolete ongin ‘begin’, which was far more widespread than begin in Old English.
Old English beginnan "to begin, attempt, undertake," a rare word beside the more usual form onginnan (class III strong verb; past tense ongann, past participle ongunnen); from bi- (see be-) + West Germanic *ginnan, of obscure meaning and found only in compounds, perhaps "to open, open up" (compare Old High German in-ginnan "to cut open, open up," also "begin, undertake"), with sense evolution from "open" to "begin." Cognates elsewhere in Germanic include Old Frisian biginna "to begin," Middle Dutch beghinnen, Old High German beginnan, German beginnen, Old Frisian bijenna "to begin," Gothic duginnan.
1. As the domestic market becomes saturated, firms begin to export the product.
2. Suddenly all the men pull out pistols and begin blasting away.
3. Begin by planning on three two-hour reviews with four chapters per session.
4. You can't begin to imagine how much that saddens me.
5. You can add ingredients to these desserts as they begin to set.