Thursday, February 12, 2015

Your Daily German or German is Easy! A blog for students of German

If you've been struggling with the concept of "doch" in Kapitel 4 (used as a tasty "flavoring particle"), then this blog is for you!  Below is the excerpt discussing using doch as introduced in Kapitel 4, but there is much more.  Click here to access the complete blog.


Doch often tones the sentence in a way, that can be reproduced by adding a question in English. There is different occasions to do that. One is if you want to soften statements that would sound too direct, demanding or rough without toning them down.
(In the following examples the second English sentence is the version with doch)
  • Wir gehen ein Bier trinken. Komm (doch) mit!
  • We are going  to have a beer. Join us!
  • … . Come on, join us. / … . Wanne join us? / Why don’t you join us.
  • Denk (doch) mal nach!
  • Think for once!
  • Think for once,… why not?
  • Sei (doch) endlich still!
  • Shut up, for god’s sake!
  • Shut up now, will you!
The second example is still pretty rough even with the doch... but it is toned down a little in as far as that the doch stresses the fact that the person talking is really desperately waiting for the other one to shut up.
In other explanations the doch in the last example as well as some of the following are called intensifiers. Though it is certainly not wrong in some cases I chose not to go with this category. In my opinion the cases when doch intensifies are also marked by intonation. The written version does not necessarily sound intensified to me. This is for example the case with the last example we had.