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nachvollziehen

Meanings

1.
to understand
(The idea here is that you can follow the thought process of another person)
2.
to reconstruct, to trace
(In the sense of mentally understanding some process that took place)

Word Family

Root: *deuk-

The core idea of this root was:

leading, pulling

So already back then, the double theme that we have in ziehen today was present. Pulling and guiding share the idea of “giving a way from in front”.
A good leader “pulls” their followers along.

The idea of pulling can be found in English members of this family like tow, tug, tie and also team.

The far bigger group though are the words that are based on the Latin verb *ducere. This was the Latin verb for to lead and it’s the core of dozens of words like produce, conduct, educate, seduce or duke.

Here’s an incomplete list of English family members:

  • to tow (pulling)
  • to tug (pulling)
  • to tie (pulling)
  • team (originally, a line of descent, family lineage)
  • induce (“lead in”)
  • introduce, introduction (“lead into”)
  • produce, product (“lead forth”)
  • seduce, seduction,…  (“lead/pull aside”)
  • abduct, abduction,… (“lead/pull away”)
  • reduce, reduction, … (“to pull back”)
  • decude, deduction, … (“to pull from”)
  • educate, education, … (“to pull out, to bring out”)
  • conduct, conduit, … (“to lead, to bring together”)
  • the Duke  (“the leader”, based on Italian title “Duce”)
  • aqueduct (“leading water”)
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