Connectors 2: doch

In the module Connectors 1, you have learned that there are three main types of words that connect German clauses: coordinating conjunctions, subordinating conjunctions, and connecting adverbs. The connector type affects the word order in the German sentence, especially the position of the verb. One of the frequently used connectors is doch (‘still, but, however, yet’).

Let’s explore examples with doch using Das Digitale Wörterbuch der Deutschen Sprache (DWDS), a large electronic collection of German texts known as a corpus.  Below you will see two images that show example sentences. They are presented in form of a concordance – stacked lines of examples with the search words bolded and centered.

Read corpus examples below paying special attention to the position of the verb.  If you find the text hard to read, you can click on the image to get a larger version, or you can go directly to the DWDS Corpus using the links provided below the images.


DWDS search #1 for “doch” retrieved May 13, 2021.


DWDS search #2 for “doch” retrieved May 13, 2021

Which rules best reflect the difference between the sentence sets (a) and (b)?

Now, read corpus examples below:


DWDS search #3 for “doch” retrieved May 13, 2021.


DWDS search #4 for “doch” retrieved May 13, 2021.

The small word doch is extremely frequent in German (almost 150 thousand occurrences in the DWDS core corpus of the 20th century!) and can play many different roles. It can connect clauses or function as a particle in conversations. Pay attention to the position of the word doch in the sentence to properly understand its meaning in each context and to accurately use it!