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A fun look at the meaning of the German words for future, what "Zukunft" has to do with "kommen" and what other cool useful words with "-kunft" there are.
die Zukunft, die Auskunft, die Ankunft, die Herkunft
"auskommen" looks like "to come out". But it means something completely different. Today, we'll find out why and see how to actually say "come out" in German.
auskommen, rauskommen, die Auskunft, das Auskommen
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The core idea of this root was:
coming, coming into this world, going
In to come and kommen, the beginning has “hardened” but in the Latin branch of “venire”, the soft “v”-portion prevailed. “venire” was the Latin word for to come and which we can see in words like invent, prevent or venture.
The root is also the origin of the word base, which got its meaning from an old word Greek word for going, making steps.
That’s also where diabetes is from, which originally was about passing through, specifically urine “passing through”
The most surprising German member is the adjective bequem, which actually ties in quite well with the side idea of “become” as in “to fit, to suit”. Just think of “unbecoming”.
here’s an (incomplete) list of the relatives in English:
- to come
- to become
- base, basis (“going there, making steps”)
- invent, invention, inventory (“coming in, going in”)
- prevent, prevention (“coming before”)
- convene, convent, convention (“coming together”)
- intervene, intervention (“coming in between”)
- circumvent (“coming around”)
- event, eventually (“coming here”)
- advent, adventure, avenue (“coming ahead”)
- provenience (“coming from”)
- revenue (“coming back”)
- souvenir (“coming along”)
- diabetes (“passing through”)