doch (meaning)

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gnumann

New Member
Malayalam
I am having trouble understanding the meaning of "doch". When used by itself, it means something like "you are wrong and I am right". But in many sentences it seems to have meanings like "really", etc..

Some help with all possible meanings of "doch" will be really appreciated.
 
  • Frank78

    Senior Member
    German
    You´re right when used on its own it has a different meaning then within a sentence.

    A: "Sie sind nicht von hier, was?"
    B: "Doch" (Since a yes/no would lead to confusion when answering a negative question "doch" is used. Strictly speaking it means "No, you are wrong" or "Yes, I DO live here".

    In French the corresponding word is "Si".
     
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    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    In a lot of sentences ist works as a kind of flavoring particle. It modifies the sentence and includes a lot of compressed information.

    "Ich kann mitkommen." "I can come with you."
    "Ich kann doch mitkommen?" - "Doch" modifies "kann" to "darf" (allowed to), and it modifies the sentence to a question without changing the sequence of words to the default question order. I want to come with you but I am not sure if you will enjoy this. It can also mean: Is there a free place for me left?
    "Kann ich mitkommen?" - "Can I come with you? Do you allow me to come with you?"

    "Ich kann doch mitkommen?" "Im sure you allow me to come with you. Don't you?" (Also other conditions may be excluded if the answer is "yes". If the answer is "no" there should be a short statement why it is "No!".
    "Doch" is unstressed here in this sentence.

    In case it is not a question it compresses another sentence:

    "Ich kann doch mitkommen." = "I did not know before but now the conditions have changed and I can come with you." "Doch" is stressed here.

    As you see "Doch" allows precise and short sentences especially in spoken language. In written language the intonation usually is not marked and so only punctuation marks and context can help.
     
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    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    I am having trouble understanding the meaning of "doch". When used by itself, it means something like "you are wrong and I am right". But in many sentences it seems to have meanings like "really", etc..

    Some help with all possible meanings of "doch" will be really appreciated.
    As Frank wrote, the two uses are clearly distinct; but there is nevertheless a semantic connection between them: "Doch!" in the sense of "you are wrong and I am right", as you described it, is only used when denying a denial, i.e. if you want to express that what has been denied by someone else is in fact (="doch"="really") true.
     
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