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Forego vs. Forgo: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sumera Saeed || Updated on October 22, 2023
"Forego" means to precede in place or time, while "forgo" means to abstain from or do without.

Key Differences

"Forego" and "forgo" are two words that often cause confusion, primarily because they sound alike. "Forego" pertains to something that comes before, relating to precedence in time or order. On the other hand, "forgo" is about choosing not to do or have something.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 22, 2023
When considering the origins and etymology, "forego" combines the prefix "fore-" which implies "before" with "go", suggesting going before or preceding. In contrast, "forgo" doesn't carry this prefix and directly relates to the act of abstaining or refraining.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 22, 2023
To illustrate with an example, if one was to "forego" an event, it would imply that their participation or involvement was before others. However, if one chose to "forgo" an event, it would mean that they decided not to attend or partake in it at all.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 22, 2023
In many contexts, "forgo" is more frequently used as it commonly deals with decisions to refrain from specific actions or to abstain from certain pleasures or luxuries. "Forego", being about precedence, has a narrower application, usually relating to something that happened or existed earlier.
Sara Rehman
Oct 22, 2023
In summary, while both "forego" and "forgo" can cause some linguistic mix-ups, remembering that "forego" deals with preceding and "forgo" deals with abstaining can clarify their respective uses.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 22, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Primary Meaning

To precede in place or time.
To abstain from or do without.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 22, 2023

Etymological Root

"Fore-" meaning "before" + "go".
Derived from "go".
Sumera Saeed
Oct 22, 2023

Example Usage

Foregoing the introduction.
Forgoing dessert.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 22, 2023

Associated Action

Being or happening earlier.
Refraining or abstaining.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 22, 2023

Frequency of Use

Less common, specific to preceding.
More common, broad abstention context.
Janet White
Oct 22, 2023
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Forego and Forgo Definitions

Forego

To precede in time.
The prologue will forego the main story.
Huma Saeed
Oct 22, 2023

Forgo

To bypass or omit.
They chose to forgo the usual formalities.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 22, 2023

Forego

To be earlier or prior to.
Breakfast will forego lunch.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 22, 2023

Forgo

To abstain or refrain from.
I'll forgo dessert today.
Huma Saeed
Oct 22, 2023

Forego

To predate or antecede.
Dinosaurs forego humans in Earth's timeline.
Harlon Moss
Oct 22, 2023

Forgo

To pass up or do without.
He had to forgo his vacation due to work commitments.
Janet White
Oct 22, 2023

Forego

To be in advance of.
Preliminary meetings will forego the main conference.
Janet White
Oct 22, 2023

Forgo

To give up or relinquish.
He decided to forgo his claim to the property.
Sara Rehman
Oct 22, 2023

Forego

To come before in order.
The introduction will forego chapter one.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 22, 2023

Forgo

To decide not to do or use.
She chose to forgo makeup this morning.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 22, 2023

Forego

To precede, as in time or place. See Usage Note at forgo.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 04, 2019

Forgo

To abstain from; relinquish
Unwilling to forgo dessert.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 04, 2019

FAQs

Can "forgo" mean to donate or give away?

Not directly. "Forgo" is about abstaining or giving up for oneself, not giving to others.
Harlon Moss
Oct 22, 2023

Can "forego" be about spatial order?

Yes, "forego" can indicate something coming before another in order or space.
Sara Rehman
Oct 22, 2023

Is "foregoer" a valid word?

While not common, "foregoer" can mean someone or something that goes before another.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 22, 2023

Does "forego" always relate to time?

Mostly, but it can also pertain to order or sequence.
Harlon Moss
Oct 22, 2023

Can someone "forgo" a treatment or medication?

Yes, it means they chose not to undergo the treatment or take the medication.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 22, 2023

Is "forgo" only about giving up pleasures?

No, "forgo" can be about abstaining from anything, not just pleasures.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 22, 2023

If I skip breakfast, do I "forego" or "forgo" it?

You "forgo" breakfast because you're choosing to skip or do without it.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 22, 2023

Is "forgo" a formal term?

While not strictly formal, "forgo" is standard English and can be used in various contexts.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 22, 2023

Can a business "forgo" an opportunity?

Yes, it means the business chose not to pursue or take advantage of it.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 22, 2023

Are "forego" and "forgo" interchangeable?

No, "forego" means to precede, while "forgo" means to abstain from or do without.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 22, 2023

Can "forego" be used in a future context?

Yes, but it would still imply something preceding another event, even if both are in the future.
Huma Saeed
Oct 22, 2023

Can an event "forego" another?

Yes, if it happens or is scheduled before another event.
Harlon Moss
Oct 22, 2023

Can I "forgo" a right or claim?

Yes, it means you choose to not exercise or claim it.
Harlon Moss
Oct 22, 2023

If I arrive early, did I "forego" others?

Yes, by arriving early, you preceded or "forewent" others.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 22, 2023

Is "forgoing" the act of abstaining?

Yes, "forgoing" is the gerund form of "forgo", indicating the act of abstaining or doing without.
Harlon Moss
Oct 22, 2023

Does "forego" have any synonyms?

Yes, synonyms include precede, antecede, and predate.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 22, 2023

Is "forgone" related to "forgo"?

Yes, "forgone" is the past participle of "forgo", meaning having abstained or refrained from something.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 22, 2023

Is "foregone" related to "forego"?

Yes, "foregone" is the past participle of "forego", often seen in the phrase "foregone conclusion".
Aimie Carlson
Oct 22, 2023

What is the opposite of "forgo"?

To embrace, pursue, or partake in.
Sara Rehman
Oct 22, 2023

Can an introduction "forego" a chapter?

Yes, if the introduction comes before the chapter, it "foregoes" it.
Sara Rehman
Oct 22, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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