Dictionary verb vor verb *gwa- kommen vorkommen
(vor verb)


to occur, to happen
(For occasional incidences, NOT used in combination with a definite time)
How useful:
to seem
("jemandem+Dat vorkommen" - mostly used for things and situations, though it does work for people. The thing "comes before you" in a certain (possibly fake) way. For past tense, "written past/preterit" is more idiomatic.)
How useful:
to feel like
("sich+Dativ vorkommen" - essentially the same idea as before, but now you "seem to yourself". For past tense, the preterite is more idiomatic.)
How useful:


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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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