Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Do you know how to talk about the beginning and the end of event in English in a natural way?

Here are a few examples to start off:

Example 1: Lindsay, how do you feel at the end of a hot yoga session? What was it like in the beginning, when you first tried it?

Example 2: When you first started running, were you tired in the beginning?  Did you make it to the end of a training session?

Hearing somebody talk about something happening in the beginning or at the end of something can be a bit confusing.

This is especially true because you hear these things all the time.

Today let’s take a look at a letter that came in to help you see that this is a very common source of confusion and we’ll clear up your confusion so that you can start connecting with natives using these phrases.

I enjoy listening to your podcast.

Probably, you could do me a favour. I have two points or items that I always get a little bit confused with:

in the end / in the beginning versus at the end / at the beginning

as I said versus like I said.

I guess, you can’t use either one or the other. It depends on the context, doesn’t it?

I would be glad if you could cover both issues or at least one :).

I am looking forward to your next podcast.

Best regards, AEE Listener


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Let’s look at the definition of In the beginning/At the beginning:

1) At the beginning:

Usually we say OF after – “At the beginning of the dinner, she felt sick.”

It’s intended to mark the start of something.

In the beginning– two points in time, maybe more long term

“In the beginning, she was really upset with her school choice, but then she loved it.”

This usually indicates a starting time in a longer term process of something.


2) At the end:

Also usually with OF- about a point, an ending — “At the end of the song, the singer thanked the audience.”

It typically points to a very distinct ending to something that you can see transpiring.

In the end– more about long term ending — “She couldn’t decide if she wanted to go to medical school or if she wanted to travel. In the end, she chose to travel for a year before school.”

It usually points to something that occurs after a significant amount of time passes, it can signify closure.


3) As I said/Like I said:

These two can sound very familiar, and they are often used interchangeably.

“As I said” tends to be a bit more formal in nature.

It may even come off as a bit rude, even though no offense is intended to it.



Many times, the difference is so slight that most people don’t know the difference.

Focus on what you hear in every day conversations and go with that.

These differences aren’t significant enough for you to worry about.

Just do your best, practice using them often, and you will get the hang of it.

You can look it up, but don’t let it interfere with connection!


What questions do you have today?

Let us know in the comments below.

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