“First” vs. “At First”: What’s the Difference?

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The difference between “first” and “at first”

  • "First" can mean initial, the earliest in a sequence, or the foremost, while "at first" means "in the beginning."
  • "First" is an adjective that describes something that comes before others, while "at first" is an introductory phrase that denotes an initial stage or state.
  • "First" is an adjective that is used to describe nouns, while "at first" can be used as a transition at the beginning of a sentence.
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What is the definition of “first” and “at first”?

  • Refers to the initial or primary thing/item/action in a sequence or list.
  • Can also signify the earliest time or occurrence.
  • It can be used as an adjective to quantify or qualify something.
At first
  • Describes a preliminary state or initial reaction at the beginning of an experience or event.
  • Typically suggests that there has been a change or transition after the initial experience or reaction.
  • Can be used to imply that there is more to follow or develop after the initial state or reaction.

Which is the more popular variant on the Internet?

“First” is the more popular variant on the web.
More popular
13,200,000,000 results on the web
  1. First, we need to gather all the necessary materials.
  2. The first thing that came to mind was the drill in the shed.
  3. First impressions are important, so make sure to present yourself well.
At first
579,000,000 results on the web
  1. At first, I was skeptical about the idea.
  2. At first, it seemed like an impossible task, but we managed to accomplish it.
  3. At first, I didn't understand what was going on, but then it became clear.
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