10 Fresh Phrases with the English Word START

Speaking Course Level 1

Speaking Course Level 2

a fresh start

“A fresh start” means a new opportunity with no mistakes/bad things in it yet. We often use this phrase after leaving a bad situation and beginning something new.

After a bad breakup, he decided to move to another city and look for a fresh start.

be/get off to a running start

When something “is off to a running start” or “gets off to a running start,” it means it has a good, fast beginning with a lot of speed and power.

The presidential candidate’s campaign is off to a running start, with a huge rally in the capital city.

start out / start off 

Both start out and start off are simply informal ways to say “start.” There is no significant difference between them. Here are some examples:

Let’s start off the project by organizing the tasks.

I had very little experience when I first started out in this job.

start off/get off on the wrong foot

If you “start off / get off on the wrong foot,” it means you make a bad impression or begin a relationship with a conflict or misunderstanding.

During my job interview, I started off on the wrong foot by calling the manager by the wrong name.

a startup

In the world of business, a “startup” is a company that has just begun operating. Startups are usually innovative companies that are trying to do new things, and receive money from private investors to fund their operations.

I like working for a startup because the team is small enough that I can have input into major decisions.

a head start

Getting “a head start” means to get ahead of schedule or to start before other people.

The report isn’t due until next Friday, but I’m going to get a head start on it by doing some research over the weekend.

start a car

To “start a car” means to turn on the engine/motor. We often use this in the negative, when there’s a problem with the engine/motor and the car won’t function.

My car wouldn’t start this morning, so I had to take a taxi to work.

jump-start / kick-start

To “jump-start a car” means to connect the car to another car’s batteries using cables, in order to give a sudden, strong burst of power to the car that is not operating.

More generally, jump-starting or kick-starting a project or progress means to put things in motion when they were previously stopped or slow.

Few people were buying the product, so we put a big advertisement in the newspaper to try to jump-start sales.

start a family

When native English speakers use the expression “start a family,” it means when two people who are in a romantic relationship (usually married) begin to have children for the first time.

We want to buy a bigger house because we’re thinking of starting a family soon.

start over

If you “start over,” it means you begin again – usually because the work you did before failed or had a mistake in it.

Oh no, I put salt instead of sugar into the cake. I’ll have to throw it away and start over.

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