abfahren

Meanings

1.
to start driving
(With a focus in leaving. Often used for trains leaving a station. For starting your car ride, "losfahren" is the better choice.)
2.
to dig, to really like
("abfahren auf+Acc" - quite colloquial and not easy to use idiomatically, because it doesn't always work.)
3.
to drive off
(In the sense of leaving a highway.)
Opposite (closest): auffahren
4.
to drive along
(ONLY in the sense of driving a full course of something, usually in a context of some sort of inspection.)
5.
to drive down
(For mountains and hills and primarily used in context of biking or skiing.)

Examples

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Word Family

Root: *per

The core idea of this root was:

going beyond, going forth

And a lot of its children revolve in some way around the idea of travelling or exploring – like for instance the German fahren and führen or the English further.
It’s the origin of Latin prefixes like per-, pro-, pro- and also of the Germanic branch around for(e) and German vor, which are all about either “going forth” or a more abstract notion of going beyond a boundary.

The root is also the origin of German fahren and führen  and the English fare, which all come from a sense of travelling, going into the unknown.

You can get a really good understanding of how the core idea can lead to various meanings by looking at German ver-.

The family is very big, but here’s an incomplete list of English members:

  • pre- (mixed)
  • pro-  (mixed)
  • per- (mixed)
  • para- (beyond)
  • to fare, far (venturing)
  • for (from person A to person B)
  • forward, forth, further (going ahead)
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