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forgo, forego

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  Ed Good  —  Grammar Tips
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Forgo means “to abstain from” or “to relinquish something.”

Forego means “to go before.” (Note the prefix fore-, as in before).

Writers often confuse the two, usually using forego when they mean “forgo.”

Both have past-tense constructions, which are rather archaic: forwent and forewent.

And both have past participles, which are useful: forgone and foregone. Thus, a foregone conclusion correctly describes a conclusion everyone reached before the question was even posed. A forgone opportunity is one that was lost or relinquished.

Example: He decided to forgo his purchase of the stock. A year later, after the stock soared in price, he looked back and pined about his forgone opportunity. The foregoing example should help you distinguish among these words.

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