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What is the difference between "comienzo" and "empiezo"?

These two words seem synonymous but I'm pretty sure they cannot be used interchangeably. Please give examples if possible.

For learning: Spanish
Base language: English
Category: Language

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    Comienzo = principio de una cosa.
    Empiezo = barbarismo por comienzo.
    Ambas palabras se refieren al inicio o principio de una cosa.
    Pero ambas palabras no se usan de igual manera para referirse a lo mismol
    Por ejemplo, yo puedo decir: "comienzo a leer un libro" ó "empiezo a leer un libro"
    Pero no puedo decir: "en el empiezo de la tierra hubo dinosaurios", como si puedo decir: "en el comienzo de la tierra hubo dinosaurios"
    Como verbos: comenzar y empezar, (yo comienzo, tu comienzas, el comienza....., yo empiezo, tu empiezas, él empieza.....) si se pueden usar con el mismo significado y conjugar en todos los tiempos, pero como sustantivo solo es permitido el uso de " comienzo" como tal, y no el de " empiezo", pues es un barbarismo. El comienzo, es correcto. El empiezo es incorrecto.

    Hello Nicolas,

    It is true as Perla stated that they are synonyms in meaning but couldn't be used interchangeably in different contexts.
    That is because ' comienzo' also means 'initiation , origin ".

    Some examples showing those differences in usage:

    - dar comienzo a algo = to start something ,to begin something.
    It is an expression ,where you can't interchange 'comienzo' with 'empiezo'.

    - En los comienzos de este siglo
    at the beginning of this century
    Here 'comienzo' has the sense of 'initiation ' and can't be interchanged with 'empiezo'.

    So in the regular sense of 'begin or start' they would be interchanged in most cases, but when 'comienzo' refers to an initiative step or an initial phase of a process, it would be hardly exchanged with the word 'empiezo'.
    In set expressions such as 'dar comienzo a' they are not likely to be interchanged as well.

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