maßgeblich vs. weitgehend

  • There is a card, Wir stimmend dir *weitgehend* zu, that I keep getting wrong because I guess maßgeblich instead of weitgehend every time. Can someone explain the difference? Dictionary-wise they appear to be quite similar. Why does maßgeblich not work in this sentence? Thanks!

  • Moderator

    The two words mean different things. "weitgehend" means something like "largely" or "far reaching". So "Wir stimmen Dir weitgehend zu" focusses more on the quantitative side, "We agree to 80% of your arguments".

    On the other hand, "maßgeblich" means something like "significant", "decisive" or "pivotal". So "Wir stimmen Dir maßgeblich zu" would focus more on the qualitative side, "We agree with just 20% of your arguments, but those are the decisive ones".

    Additionally, "maßgeblich" wouldn't probably be used like this. It's mostly used as an adjective, like "Die maßgeblichen Gründe für die Entscheidung waren...". Occasionally it's used as an adverb, for example like "Er war an dem Projekt maßgeblich beteiligt". Although you could argue that "ich stimme maßgeblich zu" means that my approval is the crucial one, to use "maßgeblich" like that would sound unnatural in my ears.

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