“Hier ist noch das Foto vom Familienfest.”

This is the first line of a fictional e-mail in my workbook. The rest of the e-mail simply details who is who in the photograph.

I don’t understand the meaning or purpose of noch in the sentence. None of the definitions I found online seem to fit here. Help please!

  • 5
    What is your understanding of noch? What definitions in which online dictionaries did you find? What do they mean/ what is your understanding from it? please link and quote the relevant part. thanks. Aug 24, 2020 at 13:26

7 Answers 7


„Hier ist noch das Foto vom Familienfest.“

In this case, noch belongs to the synonyme family including des Weiteren, zusätzlich, ergänzend, überdies, etc. In English this would be something like in addition, additionally, furthermore, moreover, etc. Perhaps the sender forgot to send the photo with the last e-mail and would like to make up for it now.

None of the definitions I found online seem to fit here.

Well, there are various sources which have a proper definition, for example,

  • 1
    Of course I know this definition, but it didn’t seem right to me in this context, because why would an e-mail start with “here is, in addition, the photo...”? So does the sentence maybe mean “here is another photo of the family party”?
    – user392289
    Aug 24, 2020 at 13:39
  • 11
    @user392289 Because the sender forgot to send the photo in the previous e-mail. Another would be certainly not correct, because it is noch das Foto and not noch ein Foto. Aug 24, 2020 at 14:51
  • Thank you so much!
    – user392289
    Aug 24, 2020 at 14:57
  • 1
    @a_donda, no, the meaning to still exist would be expressed with a different word order in the German sentence, namely so that noch modifies hier, for example, Noch ist das Foto vom Familienfest hier or Das Foto vom Familienfest ist noch hier. The word order as given in the original sentence does not allow this interpretation, because noch comes after hier. Aug 24, 2020 at 19:54
  • 6
    The usage of "noch" in this case can also convey a sense of following up on something which was talked about or mutually agreed upon before. Maybe the two persons here met at the family party and one of them promised to the other to send the photo. In a similar context, "noch" can apply to making a closing remark in a discussion or wrapping up an open issue or topic in general. German singer-songwriter Reinhard Mey has a famous line in his signature song "Gute Nacht, Freunde" : Was ich noch zu sagen hätte, dauert eine Zigarette und ein letztes Glas im Stehen.
    – kriegaex
    Aug 25, 2020 at 4:40

One possible scenario is that the sender has announced before that he would send the photo, and when he actually does send it, he refers to the earlier communication by noch. Hence, in this case noch is a brief way to say as mentioned earlier.


I would interpret "noch" as an additional event late in the time-axis.

I take Inspector Columbo as an example: In the German translation, when he leaves a room and turns around to pose an additional question, he says:

Eine Frage hätte ich noch.

instead of

Ich hätte ein Frage.

which would be the right phrase in an ongoing conversation. So maybe in you example the photo is handed over at a time where the conversion is already finished?!

  • Would be conceivable in an ongoing conversation, too, if the topic has changed in the meantime. Aug 27, 2020 at 4:39

In this case noch most probably refers to a previous conversation not depicted there. I see three possible meanings:

  • as mentioned earlier (see Martin Peters response)
  • a short form of by the way, long form would be: "Übrigens, hier ist noch das Foto...", (in the books "by the way" is usually translated to just "übrigens", but colloquially you would use it together with a "noch" in many/most cases)
  • it could be referencing eg. a previous e-mail in which the writer of that e-mail forgot to send the photo and now does it with this. I don't know if there is a word for that in english

If it were a "real" e-mail, there would also be the possibility that it's just a colloquial fill word with no meaning, but since it's from a workbook I doubt that

“Hier ist noch das Foto vom Familienfest.”

In this context it doesn't carry much meaning. If you only said

Hier ist das Foto vom Familienfest

this would simply have the meaning of "Here is the photo of the Family celebration". With the noch it could mean that they were just saying goodbye to each other and he/she remembered to give the photo. In this case it would mean "Oh, here is the photo of the family celebration" or "Also, here is the photo of the family celebration".

  • 1
    Welcome to German.SE. So you do deny then that there e.g. might have been a conversation earlier where the photo was "promised to show" and in the current e-mail it finally happens? Because your mentioned possibilities when such a sentence could occur seems quite limited to me. Aug 25, 2020 at 7:13

Noch is used here as a "modal particle"

German makes frequent use of these particles to reflect mood in colloquial, often spoken, registers. They are infamously difficult to translate, as grammatical mood isn't encoded in English in this way.

Literally translated, your example could be: "Here is yet a photo from the Family Festival." However, unless you're coming from dutchy Pennsylvania where we sometimes use this particle specifically, the "yet" doesn't lend the same semantic value as it does in German.

Think of it as a means to draw attention to the fact that you're transitioning from one idea to the other, as if to say, "We have been spending a lot of time with family, and we are enjoying it! (In fact,) here is (yet) a photo from the family festival." Without the words in parentheses, the transition between those thoughts is less "smooth," sozusagen.


I'd say its another convention, something along the lines of "I attach", but a slightly more colloquial one. As you already have pointed out, it's introducing the photo that has been attached to the email.

  • 2
    What type of convention do you refer to? Something that is listed anywhere? Where in the question did the OP point out anything as "introducing the photo..." - should your answer rather be a comment than an answer? Aug 25, 2020 at 7:07
  • By convention I mean that "noch" is being used quite often in emails as a kind of idiom (or in German, a "Floskel" if that rings a bell) without the original meaning of "additional", and instead as a statement that something is being sent, or attached.
    – juliUED
    Aug 25, 2020 at 21:48
  • PLease include your clarification into your answer. Aug 26, 2020 at 8:03

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.