Forgo and Forego


I don't know if I've ever seen anyone use the word forego correctly. Most of the time, it's used to mean "to do without," as in, "He'll have to forego using his washing machine for a week." They wanted to write forgo. But instead they chose a word that is at best a "variant" spelling of the word they wanted.

The past tense of forego—forwent—crops up from time to time. The male pioneers forewent the women and children settlers. But that's pretty rare, too. 

For the record, unless you want to settle for the variant spelling, the word that means to do without is forgo. No E. With an E, forego means to go before—a job we usually just give to precede.

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