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The following sentence:

  • Er hat mir für den alten Wagen noch 800 Euro geboten

appears in the Goethe Institut B1 vocabulary list.

I understand that the speaker has been offered 800 Euro for the car, but what function does »noch« serve. I ask, primarily because several translation sites give the same English translation, whether the word »noch« is present or not.

The ideas that have crossed my mind include:

  1. That the 800 Euro is in addition to whatever amount had been asked for.
  2. Something similar to »auf jeden Fall«, to suggest that despite the car being in terrible condition, the speaker was nonetheless offered 800 Euro.
  3. A function similar to a modal particle, indicative of some attitude on the part of the speaker.

Is any one of these correct?

3 Answers 3

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Here noch is an adverb. It can be used to express that a state still continues (often with the subtext that it will not continue for very much longer).

In this case, the speaker expresses a bit of suprise that the potential buyer is still offering 800 Euros for the old car. It looks like, the car is still in the state of being worth this much (but we can assume it won't be for much longer).

Er hat mir für den alten Wagen noch 800 Euro geboten.
He still offered me 800 Euro for the old car (even though it has all those dents).

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  • This seems like the most likely interpretation (IMO/mMn), but Goethe doesn't really provide a lot of context here. I'm thinking you can rephrase with aber: Der Wagen ist alt, aber er hat mir 800 Euro dafür geboten. I didn't see this meaning listed in DWDS though; did I miss something?
    – RDBury
    Mar 21, 2022 at 13:35
  • @RDBury In my opinion, your rephrasing misses the "scale aspect". Let's take the example "Er ist noch krank". This sentence looks at the time scale: He's still sick now, with the implication that he'll get better in the forseeable future. With "Er hat mir ... noch 800 Euro geboten", there's kind of a "worth scale" in my opinion. The older and more used the car gets, the lower its value gets. But we're now still at the stage where the value is relatively high (800 Euro). So I'd categorize this use of "noch" under meaning 1.1. in DWDS. Mar 21, 2022 at 15:32
  • Thanks for the clarification. That seems to be a difference between noch and "still" that I wasn't aware of.
    – RDBury
    Mar 21, 2022 at 19:33
  • @HenningKockerbeck does "noch" in the given sentence equal "dennoch": //Er hat mir für den alten Wagen dennoch 800 Euro geboten.// ?? Mar 21, 2022 at 22:11
  • @HenningKockerbeck and if I may also ask, what meaning would be conveyed with a "doch": //Er hat mir für den alten Wagen doch 800 Euro geboten.// ?? Mar 21, 2022 at 22:13
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In this case, the speaker indicates with "noch" some own opinion, but it is not 100% precise, if this is a good or bad bid:

  1. although an old car, he bids 800€ for it, in meaning of "immerhin"
  2. because an old car, he bids 800€, in meaning "nur"
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  • 4
    I vote for your answer one; the second would most likely be phrased nur noch or gerade noch; therefore I can't recognize the ambiguity.
    – guidot
    Mar 21, 2022 at 11:37
  • I think that's the point: in full it could be "dennoch" or "nur noch". And maybe used or understood slightly different at different regions. Mar 22, 2022 at 17:12
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'noch' is a modal particle indicating that he 'still' got £800 despite the car being old.

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  • €, not £, though.
    – Carsten S
    May 13, 2022 at 14:52

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