Let’s practice “doch”

Hello everyone,

and welcome back to a new week of learning German. Hooray.
And this week, I have something really special for you. Something that I wanted to share for a long time…
drum roll please..

an exercise about “doch”

One of the main things I am working on this year is adding these little quizzes to the articles. Like… to all of them.
At the moment, I have around 130 quizzes up, so it’s still a long way and it does take quite a bit of time because I often also review the old articles and give them a little do-over. Or a big do-over. Some really needed a good review and trimming :).
But yeah, I’m slowly and steadily adding more and I actually found a really talented freelancer who helps me come up with ideas.

And she is also the one who came up with this really amazing concept for the exercise about doch.
The article on doch is one of my favorite articles ever, and I’ve wanted to have an exercise for doch for a long time but I could never think of a way that makes sense.
So when I saw her basic idea, I was REALLY excited and that’s why I wanted to share this one with all of you and get your thoughts on it.
So are you ready?
Cool.

Here’s how it works:

We give you a sentence without doch, and then the same sentence but with doch and your task is to pick (multiple choice) what doch does in that scenario.
Let’s maybe just do an example together.
Here’s what you get:

 “Maria will ein Steak?!”
“Was? Sie ist Vegetarierin.”
“Maria wants a steak.”
“What? She is a vegetarian.”

 “Maria will ein Steak?!”
“Was? Sie ist doch Vegetarierin.”

You’ll also get the audio for the doch-version, because the pronunciation can help with the meaning. And sometimes the way how it’s said and where the stress is, makes a difference for the meaning.
And also, you can click “hint” and then you’ll get a translation for the doch-version. In case of our example, that would be

“Maria wants a steak.”
“What? She is a vegetarian, isn’t she?”

And then you just have to pick from the following options, which are the core functions of doch.

  1. reverts a negation
  2. revises and reverts something about reality that we previously thought true (!! this “doch” gets a stress in spoken !!)
  3. personalizes and pads a command
  4. seeks affirmation from the other person
  5. expresses “but” and “yet”

The idea is that by having a direct comparison, you get a better feeling for doch in different contexts. And also, the options you can choose from are always the same, so just by doing the exercise you actually kind of learn the core functions of doch.
And you can actually skip around in the exercise and compare different questions, because sometimes, the sentence is actually the same… just the context is different.
So yeah… I think it’s a pretty cool exercise to get a feeling for doch

Now, if you don’t really know what the five different options stand for, then you should read the article first. Here’s the link:

The meaning of doch explained

I haven’t reviewed that one, but overall, it’s pretty good. The only thing that I kind of feel like I’m gonna change is the part about commands.
Lots of sources say that doch can soften and strengthen commands. And in the article I said that it tones them down, but actually, it mainly makes them sound more personal, and it can go in either direction. So it can express impatience, but also sound inviting. That depends on the context mainly and the way you say it. But it doesn’t purely tone them down.
Sorry that I haven’t reviewed the doch-article before posting this, but overall, I’m pretty satisfied with it.

All right.
So now you know what to do, and I think you’re ready to jump right into the exercise.
And when you’re done, please please let me know how you liked it.
Was it hard? Was it easy? Do you think this kind of exercise is helpful? Like… should we do it for words like eben and gerade and halt as well? And of course, do you have any questions about this exercise and doch?
Can’t wait to read all your thoughts and feedback, so yeah Viel Spaß with the exercise and I’ll see you in the comments.

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Rafi
Rafi
10 months ago

“Sag mal, die Frau im Hintergrund grade… das war doch Maria.”

Cannot it also mean that I thought it had been someone else, but it was Maria all along. In this case, it has reversed my previous statement.

mokcyn
mokcyn
1 year ago

I hear a lot of “doch noch”. Does this fall into any of the above DOCH categories?

vasilyec
vasilyec
1 year ago

Thank you very much, this was brilliant. I am now catching up with my German, I always though that doch is for negation only (disagreement), now I know it’s not so.
Thank you so much: not only this exercise was helpful, it was a lot of fun too. I did 13 out of 14 correctly and am very proud of myself :)))

Fadwa
Fadwa
1 year ago

I’d like to thank all the members and the people who donate to help those in need, I’m one of them and I’m really grateful for their kindness ❤️

Abd Al-Rahman
Abd Al-Rahman
1 year ago

Hello everyone, I would like to thank all of you for helping me through my journey in German language. Your donations have helped me a lot.
Keep safe.

Daniel
Daniel
1 year ago

I think your website is one of the best websites on the net for learning german. I like the fact that you “disect” the language and give the learner an in-depth way of understanding the meaning of the words. There are also emotions involved in learning a language and you can’t really explain those without a context, knowing the history of the word or having some questions about it answered.

Pentatomidae
Pentatomidae
1 year ago

Really helpful and definitely gave me more of a feel for this. More exercises on particles please! They are the one bit of German that I find really really hard. People keep telling me German is all about rules and you just learn the rules – I think particles like doch blow that theory out of the water.

waldemar
waldemar
1 year ago

Hallo. I disagree with number 13. The buyer is NOT seeking affirmation, NOT asking the seller to agree with him. Don’t know if any of your choices fit here. The buyer is begging for a favor. “Hey I only want a coffee”. “Please” is understood.

berlingrabers
berlingrabers
1 year ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Maybe it would be better to call it “appeal”-doch. It turns either a statement or command into an appeal, a call to the other person to agree either with or to what you’re saying.

berlingrabers
berlingrabers
1 year ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Oh, definitely. It’s a good word for any request with some weight and/or urgency, especially emotional.

Nina
Nina
1 year ago

Hallo! Vielen Dank für diese Erklärung des Wortes doch! Ich habe eine Frage… Ich war in Berlin in 2011 und habe viele Male Graffiti gesehen, die sagten: “Das ist doch kein Wetter.” For some reason I still remember that phrase to this day. (I wasn’t learning German back then and only picked it up ~6 months ago.) But no explanation of “doch” I’ve found anywhere can help me understand that graffiti any better. Any insight? Thanks! :)

Haseeb
Haseeb
1 year ago

Thankyou ♡♡

Adriana
Adriana
1 year ago

That was so helpful, I used the hints at the beginning though, but after understanding the logic of the first sentences, it gets easier.
Thank you!

MihaiF
MihaiF
1 year ago

So, „They shoot horses, don`t they?” would be literally translated to German: „Man erschießt doch Pferde?”

MihaiF
MihaiF
1 year ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Its a novel/movie title. The German title is an adaptation: Nur Pferden gibt man den Gnadenschuss. Sometimes I try to translate pop stuff in German so it would help me remember, like Ich mache ihm ein Angebot das er nicht ablehnen kann.

Ara
Ara
1 year ago

Hi beautiful Leute!
I found this super toll website a while ago and i was sad that i couldn’t become a member since i live in Iran. But thanks to Emmanuel and your donations i am able to use this absolute gem of a site. I am so so grateful because i’m planning on moving to Germany and this place is hands down the best source out there for learning german. Alles Liebe :)

Amerikanerin
Amerikanerin
1 year ago

Moin!

Danke für das Quiz! 10 outta 14. (10 von 14?)

Although some of the answers were kinda arbitrary.  

Einhörner sind DOCH Fleischfresser – why not ”reverts something I previously thought to be true”, i.e. Unicorns are vegetarians, or ”seeking confirmation from another person”, i.e. Unicorns are vegetarians, aren’t they? The answer was ”expresses but/yet.

Same, same with the next one about the Unicorn not wanting the apple – could be revising something I previously thought to be true or could be be expressing but/yet.

Even some that I got right felt sorta ”skurril”: Ubrigens… die Fraun in dem Film… das war DOCH Maria. Even though I got it right, I can see how it could also be ”seeking affirmation from the other person. 

Most of the answers in the quiz could be debated.  

Most were easy to get right through the process of elimination and not so much ”Gefühl”. Some were really just lucky guesses and I can see how the ”wrong” answers can also seem more intuitive or at least express more what I think the speaker is trying to convey.  

While I feel that all exercises are good (exposure, exposure, exposure) I find trying to fit the definition into a rough box sorta clumsy – for me, a new sentence explaining it in words would be preferable. Z.B:

Das Eichhörnchen versuchte, seinen Bogen zu spannen.
Doch es war zu spät. Das Einhorn war schon zu nah.

The squirrel tried to… But it was too late. The Unicorn…

or:

Übrigens… die Frau in dem Film… das war doch Maria.

By the way, the woman in the film, wasn’t that Maria?
By the way, the woman in the film, it finally dawned on me that it was Maria – I didn’t know she acted.

Or something like that. Certainly a lot more work for you, your beautiful assistant and your talented freelancer, but perhaps someone else agrees that a translation of what is meant (but that one would probably never actually SAY) could be more helpful. And in that case, perhaps several different variations could be right. 

OK, there is a lot conveyed in the tone, but one step at a time – like first: what CAN ”doch” convey. Then, what tone conveys which meaning. In the end, I felt like more like a quiz to test how well we know how you think than how good our Gefühl for ”doch” is.  

Exercises/quizzes for eben, gerade, halt, mal and perhaps even quasi could be really helpful.

psjohnson74
psjohnson74
1 year ago

Every time the answer was one of the first two choices I got it wrong. I guess I can’t distinguish between those two concepts in the sentences.

Migeni
Migeni
2 years ago

Hallo Emmanuel,
thank you very much for the DOCH practice. Now it is far clearer for me :)
It would be nice if you make an article about the uses of: schon/ja, doch/mal/halt and eben/gerade/gleich and similars.
Schönen Tag noch!

Pedro Guilherme
Pedro Guilherme
2 years ago

Hallo Emmanuel! Thanks for another excellent article.
Just for the title of correction, could you tell me in which of these meanings the phrase: “Das macht doch keinen Sinn!” it fits.

By the way, it is a part of the song “Chöre” – Mark Foster

lisa
lisa
2 years ago

Fabulous! Really enjoyed it. Very helpful. Thanks!

Turtles
Turtles
2 years ago

zur Empfehlungen gibt es auch
fügen

Turtles
Turtles
2 years ago

Nun 11. Das ist schade.

Empfehlungen
a)
-prüfen
-berücksichtigen
– schütteln

b) Thema -Korper, Reaktionen wie
-betäubt
– gähnen
– Schwindel
und weiter.

Turtles
Turtles
2 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Ich hab’ das nicht gelesen. Aber ich habe das “Walking methods” gelesen. ich lese die “Klinge,,und “Laufen,, nochmal