I was wondering whether von and from shared the same common root.

They do have a quite close meaning, and the pronunciation sounds similiar too.

EDIT I had already looked at the relative Wiktionary entries (1,2), and they didn't seem to be that connected after all; that's why I was curious.


2 Answers 2


No, they have separate roots. See von and from.

The German von is more related to the English of.


Wiktionary to the rescue!


From Middle English from (“from”), from Old English from, fram (“forward, from”), from Proto-Germanic *fram (“forward, from, away”), from Proto-Indo-European *pr-, *pro-, *perəm-, *prom- (“forth, forward”) from *por- (“forward, through”). Cognate with Old Saxon and Old High German fram (“from”), Danish fra (“from”), Swedish fram (“forth, forward”), Swedish från (“from”), Icelandic fram (“forward, on”), Icelandic frá (“from”). More at fro.


From Middle High German von (“from”), from Old High German fon, fona (“from”), from Proto-Germanic *afána, *fana-, *funa- (“from”), compound of *áfa ( from Proto-Indo-European *apo, *ap- (“from, off”)) + *ana ( from Proto-Indo-European *ano (“on”)). Cognate with Old Saxon fana, fan (“from”), Old Frisian fon (“from”), Old English of (“from”). More at of, on.

  • 1
    i can't see any clear indication that they are related from what you posted :)
    – asymmetric
    Commented Jan 26, 2011 at 17:28
  • 2
    Precisely. It's pretty clear to me that they are not.
    – RegDwigнt
    Commented Jan 26, 2011 at 18:21
  • 5
    It would be helpful to have that conclusion in the answer itself.
    – mskfisher
    Commented Jan 26, 2011 at 19:37
  • 2
    it would also be interesting to check how reliable wiktionary is, at least in this case, seeing how it seems to be the source of every answer
    – asymmetric
    Commented Jan 27, 2011 at 0:10

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