As a learner, I still get confused about the use of how the tenses of verbs work in German. So is it just as correct to use either of the following verb forms in the following sentences? "Wie die weisen Jungfrauen will ich den Bräutigam begegnen." and "Wie die weisen Jungfrauen will ich den Bräutigam treffen." Also, in that last sentence, would zutreffen mean the same and still be correct grammar as well? I hope that I have explained my question well enough but I am happy to provide further clarification if needed. Thanks in advance.
In this context, "begegnen" and "treffen" means the same (encounter/meet). "Zutreffen" has another meaning: It means that something is correct. "Ist es zutreffend, dass du dich auf das Wochenende freust?" - "Ja, das trifft zu" (~"Is it correct that you are looking forward to the weekend?" - "yes, that's right"). Be aware, that in some cases ("Ich plane, ihn zu treffen"), the "zu" does not belong to the verb "treffen" itself as in "zutreffen", which is a completely independend word.
Concerning the difference between "begegnen" and "treffen": I think in most cases they can be used as synonyms. "Begegnen" means more like "unintentionally encounter", or in this case "to face", "treffen" could be used for both, meet intentionally or unintentionally (but then, it is normally used in the past). For example:
- "Ich traf einen Freund in der Stadt" (I encountered a friend in the city)
- "Heute treffe ich einen Freund in der Stadt" (Today I am going to meet with a friend in the city)
As for the sentence "Wie die weisen Jungfrauen will ich dem Bräutigam begegnen.": In this case you could use both, however, "begegnen" sounds more elegant and better, as it's more the context of "to face" instead of meeting to hang out. Please also be aware, that you need to use the Dativ when you use "begegnen" ("Wem willst du begegnen?"), however, if you use "treffen", it's the Akkusativ, and therefore "den" is correct ("Wen willst du treffen?")