Dictionary verb *ghē- gehen vorbeigehen


to pass
(in the sense of temporary things passing. For "time" itself, "vergehen" is the more common word.)
How useful:
to pass by, to go by
(in the sense of going to a place for a bit)
How useful:
to miss
(in the sense of something not hitting a target. It's a bit slow, though, so NOT a good fit for actual projectiles)
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The meaning(s) of "vorbei"

A fun look at the meaning of "vorbei" and an end has to do with visits.


vorbei sein, vorbeikommen, vorbeifahren, vorbeibringen

Word Family

Root: *ghē-

The core idea of this root was:

going away, disappearing

This is also commonly considered the origin of to go but other relations are not certain.

The English to go is defective in the sense that it doesn’t have its own past tense form. And it hasn’t had one for more than a thousand years. Instead, it uses the form went, which is taken from the verb to wend. It’s unclear, why to go is defective.

German gehen does have its own past form, but according to German etymologist, the cluster of gehen is actually a combination of two families – one being the one of to go and the other being that of the word of English gang, which ironically was originally about making steps.

Yeah… I know… this was already a bit too nerdy. We’re here to learn German, not do science :)

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