Doch (German)

Skippy   Sat Oct 13, 2007 3:27 pm GMT
I hear this often in German songs and films to answer yes or no questions... So what does it mean?

Also, I realize it is often used to mean "but" so does that mean it is interchangeable with "aber" when used in a sentence?
Guest   Sat Oct 13, 2007 4:11 pm GMT
See doch = however, still.

Yes or no questions can only be answered with yes or no by definition. If somebody would anwer it with ''doch'', then I would consider it incorrect. Or someone don't like to answer anyway. Without having the context of such answers, I can't tell you what they mean.

On can say:

Er sollte in die Schule gehen, aber er ging ins Kino.


Er sollte in die Schule gehen, doch er ging ins Kino.
Arthur   Sat Oct 13, 2007 4:31 pm GMT

"Doch" has also another use: reinforcing a statement:

A: Es gibt keinen Saft mehr.
B: Doch, es gibt noch eine ganze Flasche Saft im K├╝hlschrank!!

It's like the French "Si".
furrykef   Sat Oct 13, 2007 9:31 pm GMT
I have heard that the German word "doch" can be used to unambiguously answer "yes" to a negative question. For instance, if the question is "Do you not want to go?", and the intonation suggests that either "yes" or "no" would be ambiguous ("Yes, I want to go", vs. "Yes, it is indeed the case that I do not want to go"), but saying "doch" unambiguously means "Yes, I want to go."

But I haven't studied German at all, so that's just what I've heard.

- Kef
Michael   Sat Oct 13, 2007 10:00 pm GMT

That's wrong. Of course you can use "doch" as an answer to a certain kind of question - a negative question, like furrykef already noted correctly.

Example in German: "Hast du keine Lust?" - "Doch!"

Skippy   Sat Oct 13, 2007 11:00 pm GMT
Thanks ya'll!