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Questions tagged [modal-particle]

Modalpartikel, Abtönungspartikel – For questions concerning modal particles such as "aber", "doch", "eben", "halt", "ja", "mal", "schon", ...

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How to use "doch"

I know "doch" is used to contradict a negative statement: A: Das ist nicht wahr. B: Doch! It's a great word for this usage and some languages really lack this word. But, I found it hard to ...
user avatar
22 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why does German have so many modal particles in comparison to other languages?

Fluent spoken German is often interspersed with lots of modal particles (e.g. "eben", "halt", "wohl") while other languages seem to lack these particles entirely, thus confusing learners and ...
Arminius's user avatar
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19 votes
6 answers
3k views

How can I translate the adverb "doch" in sentences?

What is the difference between "Dann mach doch das Fenster zu" and "Dann mach das Fenster zu"? Further examples: Ich fahre doch nur 90. Sieh doch im Korb nach.
Mill's user avatar
  • 293
18 votes
2 answers
13k views

What's the difference between "noch" and "immer noch?"

From what I got, the sentence Sie isst immer noch is translated to She's still eating. I get what each word in the sentence translates to: Sie -> She isst -> eats/is eating immer -> ...
Bonnibel's user avatar
  • 453
12 votes
2 answers
2k views

When to use the word "mal"? How does it change the meaning?

When do we use the word mal after a verb? Does it change the meaning? For example: what is the difference between the following sentences. Guck mal. Frag mal. Guck. Frag.
Sameer Damir's user avatar
11 votes
7 answers
3k views

Das ist ja wohl nicht dein Ernst - meaning of particle "ja"

In the sentence: Das ist ja wohl nicht dein Ernst. Does "ja" mean "as we all know" (i.e., expresses lack of astonishment) (Duden 3a) or expresses astonishment (Duden 3b)? Both meanings seem ...
Alan Evangelista's user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
3k views

Meaning of schon in "das schaff' ich schon"

Watching Futurama, one of the characters said: "das schaff' ich schon!" What exactly does this mean, and how does "schon" change the meaning? (I don't remember, but I think it was Fry, which ...
Matt Fenwick's user avatar
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9 votes
3 answers
25k views

Is it rude/weird to say only "danke" instead of "danke schön"?

In English it's quite normal to simply say "thanks" in daily conversations with strangers. However, in Germany I've mostly heard "danke schön" being said and have seldom heard just "danke", though I ...
xji's user avatar
  • 1,631
8 votes
7 answers
1k views

dann doch noch schnell

What does the phrase "dann doch noch schnell" mean? As in Ich habe mir heute dann doch noch schnell einen neuen Hartschalenkoffer gekauft. is this some kind of an idiom?
Ran G.'s user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
7k views

The usage of the modal particle "ja"

How is the modal particle "ja" used? Is it the same as "you know"? Ich kann ja den Artikel auf Deutsch lesen. Ich kann den Artikel auf Deutsch lesen, weisst du?
DerPolyglott33's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
157 views

„Puh! Da waren die beiden aber erleichtert!"

I'm struggling to understand the meaning of the phrase: Puh! Da waren die beiden aber erleichtert! I found that "aber" is sometimes used to express emotional involvement, and "Da"...
Lazarus Frost's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
474 views

Looking for extensive discussion of German modal particles

One example of such a modal particle is mal in Schau mal. Another example is denn in Was soll denn das? Spoken German is awash in such modal particles. My question about them is always the ...
kjo's user avatar
  • 3,515
7 votes
1 answer
3k views

Using doch to emphasize a negative reply

I stumbled upon this while looking up the usage of doch in "Hammer's German Grammar and Usage" (fourth ed), and the subsequent examples are from there. I am familiar with the use of doch for ...
Gal's user avatar
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6 votes
3 answers
361 views

„Was ist bitte daran hübsch?“ – Funktion von „bitte“

Ich verfolge in einem anderen Forum einen Shitstorm, der mit der Frage „Was ist bitte daran hübsch?“ unter einem Bild startet. Im Laufe der Diskussion hat sich jetzt rausgestellt, dass der Poster ...
Iris's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
1k views

Meaning of the phrase: "Aber Sie trinken doch sonst auch immer Kaffee"

I am a beginner at German learning. I found this line of dialog in the book "Schritte International 1": Aber Sie trinken doch sonst auch immer Kaffee! What does it mean exactly? I looked up the ...
João Vitor Dutra's user avatar
6 votes
6 answers
470 views

Meaning of 'schon' in a response

Consider the following exchange: A: Das Getränk hat dir wohl nicht so gut geschmeckt? B: Prinzipiell war es schon gut. I am wondering about the meaning of "schon" in this sentence. Does it ...
Benno's user avatar
  • 163
6 votes
1 answer
246 views

Idiomatic usage of “müssen”

I’m watching “Deutschland 83”, and one of the characters said “Du musst geh nach Berlin”, which confused me because I had always learned that modal verbs always kicked the second verb to the end of ...
rob brown's user avatar
  • 361
5 votes
5 answers
861 views

How to translate "aber" in a negative question?

Deine Schwester wohnt aber nicht in Kiel, oder? I would suggest that it means "Your sister doesn't live in Kiel, right?". But the aber is a real pain. I looked everywhere on the Internet and nothing ...
Lora85's user avatar
  • 139
5 votes
2 answers
3k views

Wahrscheinlich vs. wohl

Er hat wohl Recht über die Zu-Wortstellung. He is probably right about the zu-construction. Wo ging er hin? - Er ging wahrscheinlich in die Kneipe, um einen heben. Where did he go? - He probably went ...
DerPolyglott33's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
1k views

"Ich bin doch nicht ..." vs "Ich bin ja nicht ..."?

Inspired by a German pastiche of Sherlock Holmes: Watson: Hören Sie das auch? Holmes: Ich bin ja nicht taub. What if we replace "ja" with "doch": Holmes: Ich bin doch nicht taub....
Leo's user avatar
  • 271
4 votes
3 answers
848 views

Can I use "doch" as negation to "es ist meine Schuld"?

I'm trying to understand a particular use of the word doch If somebody says es ist meine Schuld, meaning "it's my fault", may I use doch in response to convey, essentially, "no, on the contrary, it'...
Martin's user avatar
  • 1,091
4 votes
2 answers
682 views

What does “aber” mean in this context? [duplicate]

What does “aber” mean in English in the following sentence? Das habe ich aber nicht bestellt. That's not what I ordered.
j.kh's user avatar
  • 509
3 votes
6 answers
284 views

"Jetzt" als Bezug auf die Vergangenheit?

In diesem Video, das die Schnitzelzubereitung betrifft, sagt der Typ bei 4:25: Wir haben ja hier die Schnitzel, die haben wir jetzt einfach im Supermarkt so gekauft. Was bedeutet "jetzt" ...
cruthers's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
2k views

How would you translate "but still" into German?

Es gab keinen Kaffee mehr, aber noch fragte er nach einer Tasse. There was no more coffee, but still he asked for another cup. Does aber noch fit the context?
DerPolyglott33's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
1k views

On "wohl" in an example sentence

What does wohl mean in the following sentence? Es wird wohl leider nicht zum Bestehen reichen. Does it mean that it won't be enough to pass? Or maybe or probably it won't be enough to pass? So, ...
Boya Wang's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
164 views

How is schon being used here?

These lines are from a Die Chefin episode: Gustav: Macht nicht viel Sinn, Maik Grasser zu entführen. Der kann keine Million Lösegeld zahlen. Greta: Kay Weber schon. What does schon mean in this ...
user44591's user avatar
  • 4,532
3 votes
3 answers
2k views

Doch vs. noch/gar?

Und viele mancher Kollegen wüssten doch noch gar nicht, dass sie nicht wieder kommen würden.[FAZ] How can doch noch gar be translated, when, according to my dictionary, both doch and noch can be ...
indoxica's user avatar
  • 1,445
3 votes
1 answer
88 views

Wo er nur bleibt

Frankie unsichtbar (book by Zoran Drvenkar and Martin Baltscheit): Als Frankie wieder wach wird, ist es schon dunkel. Er bekommt jetzt doch ein wenig Angst. Es ist spät, seine Mutter und seine Oma ...
davidpolygoth's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
322 views

Wie kann man zwischen AUCH[Adverb] und AUCH[Modalpartikel] unterscheiden?

Mir fällt es immer schwer, zwischen auch [Adverb] und auch [Modalpartikel] zu unterscheiden. Zum Beispiel, ziehen wir mal diesen Satz aus dem Duden in Betracht: "Darf er das auch tun?" Ohne den ...
TheSith's user avatar
  • 209
3 votes
1 answer
149 views

Modal particles in Academic writing

I've learned that modal particles (doch, schon, ja, ...) usually have little meaning in terms of adding detail and information to a sentence. They tend to make sentences more lengthy without adding ...
ChocolateOverflow's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
238 views

Position of Modal Particles in Sentence

I have gone over many website and youtube videos, and while all of them tell me the different modal partikels and the meanings, I have yet to find one which explains where I should insert them in a ...
Babu's user avatar
  • 2,699
2 votes
4 answers
864 views

How to make question sentences in modal verbs

How can I turn the sentence Ich habe das nicht machen können. to a question? And In which situations would I use Ich habe machen gewollt?
Semih Köse's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
2k views

How is “mal” used alone

I don’t understand the meaning and usage of mal in this sentence: Zuerst will ich mal mein Deutsch verbessern. What of a difference would it make if there would be no mal?
E.V.'s user avatar
  • 4,867
2 votes
1 answer
1k views

What does "doch sicher" mean? [duplicate]

I know that doch means surely and sicher means sure. Could you please explain more about the collocation doch sicher in the following example? What exactly does doch sicher mean? Sabine, du kennst ...
j.kh's user avatar
  • 509
2 votes
1 answer
154 views

Difference between "eigentlich" and "ja eigentlich"

"Ich gehe ja eigentlich nicht gern ins Theater..." I came across this sentence and I couldn't understand why "ja" is used in here. I mean the meaning is same with or without "...
Ambika Jangir's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
271 views

Position of "ja doch" - before or after the subject?

Is there any difference between the following sentences? Does the position of "ja doch" matter? (a)...weil ja doch zwei Cellisten in diesem Hotel abgestiegen sind. (b)...weil zwei Cellisten ...
MYKD's user avatar
  • 71
2 votes
1 answer
123 views

"Ich werde noch heute den Arzt anrufen." or "Noch im Mai hat sie ihre Dissertation abgegeben."; what is suggested by the usage of 'noch' here?

Ich werde noch heute den Arzt anrufen. Noch im Mai hat sie ihre Dissertation abgegeben. These are from Hammer's German Grammar and Usage 4th Edition p203, where it is noted that this way of using '...
shintuku's user avatar
  • 191
2 votes
3 answers
291 views

At which level does one typically learn modal particles?

I'm currently learning German A2.1 and I find the concept of the modal particles (doch, ja, nun einmal, eben, etc.) very interesting. Is there a standard level at which these will be 'actively' ...
Neil Tarrant's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
537 views

Eben und halt, was ist der Unterschied?

Im Sinne von "just", wenn es einen Unterschied gibt. Are there situations or connotations particular to either?
user5389726598465's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
417 views

“Jedenfalls” and “wenigstens”

The phrases auf jeden Fall and auf alle Fälle are possible alternatives for jedenfalls. Vielleicht ist er krank, er sieht jedenfalls schlecht aus. Er ist noch nicht gekommen, aber er hat sich ...
DerPolyglott33's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
130 views

komische Bedeutung von "erst"

Jetzt tue ich es erst recht! Wie muss es dort erst aussehen! Diese zwei Beispiele stammen aus dem DWDS.de und leider bin ich nicht in der Lage, sie völlig zu verstehen. Auf DWDS steht, dass »erst« ...
Mario Bedon's user avatar
  • 2,669
2 votes
4 answers
151 views

Usage of ja as modal particle expressing a piece of information known to the responder

I tried to use ja to express a piece of information known to the recipient of a letter in a school task. This is in line with example 7 on page 104 of Thurmair's Modalpartikeln und ihre Kombinationen. ...
Adam's user avatar
  • 21
1 vote
3 answers
157 views

Was bedeutet "ja mal"?

Könntet ihr mir bitte sagen, was ja mal im Kontext unten bedeutet? Person A: Schau mal Liebling. Unsere Betriebskostenabrechnung war im Briefkasten. Person B: Oh, da bin ich ja mal gespannt. Ich ...
Dmytro O'Hope's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
504 views

Die Bedeutung von "nur mal so"

Warum lachst Du oder lachst Du nur mal so warum weinst Du oder weinst Du nur mal so Ich stolper durch die Straßen und bin total verwirrt selbst wenn Du Brötchen holst bin ich schon ...
DerPolyglott33's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
241 views

The grammar construction of "weiß überhaupt nicht"

weiß überhaupt nicht (There was no Ich in the original text, I assume because it is a continuation of a sentence which initially starts with “Ich weiß nicht”). Is there an object in this sentence? ...
Igarath's user avatar
  • 13
1 vote
1 answer
114 views

„Ein bisschen Kleber und das wird schon“

I am told that this translates as, “A little glue and it’ll be fine.” I know „schon“ can function both as an adverb meaning “already” and as a modal particle meaning “indeed” in the context of ...
Mark Featherstone's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
167 views

Meaning and position of mal

A recent Slow German Podcast begins with the sentence, Es wird Zeit, dass ich Euch mal wieder etwas aus dem deutschen Fernsehen empfehle. My question is regarding the word "mal". I believe it is ...
user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
105 views

weird usage of "von wegen"

Komm mir jetzt nicht von wegen! I studied the meanings of "von wegen" on DWDS.de and I still didn't grasp what this means. Plz help.
Mario Bedon's user avatar
  • 2,669
1 vote
1 answer
140 views

Modal particles/adverbs with imperatives

I'm trying to understand the different meanings of bitte, mal, einmal and doch when used in requests or commands. My understanding is that both bitte and mal soften a request, with bitte corresponding ...
RDBury's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
456 views

Was bedeutet "nun" in diesem Satz?

Guten Tag, ich verstehe nicht, warum "nun" im folgenden Satz verwendet wurde. "Neuere Ergebnisse haben nun ergeben, dass Handysucht körperliche Symptome hat." Das Verb bezieht sich auf die ...
Bornak's user avatar
  • 25