I have wanted to use the common verb forgive until I came across a reliable translation where they have translated the same word to forgo.

When I have looked up the text and situation, it appeared that they used forgo when the wrongdoing was continuous, but when they used forgive in another text, the wrongdoing was done once and ended.

I have searched their meanings, and this is what I found according to Merriam Webster:

  • Forgive: (transitive verb)

    to cease to feel resentment against (an offender)

  • Forgive: (intransitive verb)

    to grant forgiveness

  • Forego: (transitive verb)

    to go before

Is the difference I have concluded is correct? Does forgive when used as intransitive verb mean forgiving a continuos wrongdoing continuously?

I need to use the verb that means continuously forgiving since the poet (I'm translating his poetry) is talking about if God would forgive what the monk does to himself by isolating himself and so on.


Forego doesn’t imply forgiveness. It is used to say something takes precedence over something else or sometimes to say that one thing precedes another.

He foregoes ice cream for his diet

Forgive is the word you want to use in the poetry.

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  • 2
    I would add that forego can also mean to pass over, skip, or ignore, as in, "we can forego the introduction and get to the point of why we're here." – Adam Blomeke Jul 20 '19 at 16:05
  • Oh, so that's the case. Thanks to both of you. Although I wouldn't come to that conclusion if that translation of the same word wasn't reliable. – Tasneem ZH Jul 20 '19 at 16:39

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