Simple past tense and past participle of start.(verb)
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Use "started" in a sentence
"Well, when four boys get caught doing something they're not sure they're supposed to be doing, they don't know what to do or what to say, and sometimes they start talking right away to explain _why_ they are doing what they're doing -- which is what _we_ started to do -- that is we _started_ to, but all of us talking at once didn't make sense, so we stopped."
"The Negro farmer started behind, started in debt."
"Then after that, as the label started consolidating, Herb and Jerry left and everything kind of changed."