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Beinahe hätte er den Zug doch noch erreicht.

Discussion in 'Deutsch (German)' started by Lautaro1, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. Lautaro1 Junior Member

    Argentina
    Spanish
    Hello! I'm just new in the forum, so first I'd like to greet you-all sincerely.

    Could you please tell me what "doch noch" in this sentence means? It's an exercise in a grammar book; there's no context.

    Beinahe hätte er den Zug doch noch erreicht.
     
  2. exgerman Senior Member

    NYC
    English but my first language was German
    Let's ignore the subjunctive at first (it adds complications) and look at the sentence:


    Beinah hat er den Zug erreicht. He almost got to the train
    Beinah hat er den Zug noch erreicht. He almost got to the train in time (before it departs)
    Beinah hat er den Zug doch noch erreicht. He almost got to the train in time, even though he expected that he would miss it.

    Doch
    is a little warning signal that there is something unexpected going on. Here it's attached to noch (still), and so it tells us that he expected to miss the train, but that, unexpectedly, there was a chance that he might be in time after all.

    Then the subjunctive hätte tells us that, in the end, something happened that made him miss the train. There should be another sentence that tells us what happened to keep him from catching the train.

    So all in all, it means he would almost have got to the train in time, despite what he expected, but......(something happened to keep him from catching the train).
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2013
  3. Lautaro1 Junior Member

    Argentina
    Spanish
    Ah! So it's a lot more complicated than I thought. Thank you for your time!
     

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