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zugehen

Meanings

1.
to close by itself
(With a "nicht" it basically means that something can't be closed. Past tends to be built with the preterite.)
Opposite (closest): aufgehen
2.
to approach someone
("zugehen auf+Acc" - can be physical but it also works in the sense of compromise. Past is done with "spoken past".)
3.
to go on, to be
(In the sense of something going on somewhere. Usually used in combination with "es" for "things" and often with "wie" in the sense of "how" things are done. Past is usually preterite.)

Word Family

Root: *gh─ô-

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,┬áwhich 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,┬áwhich 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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