at the start—(also: at the beginning ) initially; at first:
- At the start he was merely an incompetent abroad, but being a man of intelligence he adapted quickly.
to start with —(also: to begin with)
1. as a first consideration; most importantly:
- Kurosawa’s tale wasn’t all that original to start with—it was lifted from Hammet’s Red Harvest.
2. = at the start:
- To start with, she was both advising customers and working on the counter but she quickly progressed to concentrate on providing advice.