to get, to receive
(Just to make sure... it does NOT mean "to become".)
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to have a (bad) effect on someone, to be bad for someone
("jemandem+Dat nicht bekommen" - not very common and ONLY in contexts of food or climate and a few other "influences". Pretty much always used with "nicht". Spoken past goes with "sein".)
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to get
(Colloquially, in the sense of "manage to do something". MUST be combined with the act, unless it comes as a prefix version like "reinbekommen" or "rausbekommen".)
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The meaning of "werden"

"werden" means "to become". And it builds the future. And the passive. OMG. Today, we'll find out all about it. Also: 'become' and 'bekommen' explained :).

False Friends Explained - "bekommen vs become"



Word Family

Root: *gwa-

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”)


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