Question: "noch", oder "noch"

Hello! I encountered something peculiar while doing flashcards:

I was asked for translation of the word “noch”. I answered “still”, and was marked incorrect. (Correct answer was “even”.)

A few minutes later, yet again, I got “noch”, obviously, I answered “even”, which apparently was also wrong, for the correct answer was, surprise surprise: “still”. lol.

Which begs the question, for me at least, of what truly is the role of the word “noch”. I’ve been skipping it whenever I see it and make sense of the rest of the sentence instead. Which is bad, but I really don’t understand how it adds, or how to add it into a sentence.

Any help would be greatly appreciated! Danke!!

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In German, the adverb “noch” has the meaning of “still”, “even” and “more”. One can use “noch” for these three sentences for example:

  • “Ich lebe noch in der gleichen Wohnung.” – “I am still living in the same flat.” –

  • “Das Haus steht noch näher an der Straße.” – “The house is even closer to the street.”

  • “Da ist noch Essen im Topf.” – “There is more / still food in the pot”

Other instances could include:

Gehst du noch weiter? (Will you keep on walking?)

If you leave out the “noch”, you get “Gehst du weiter?” which usually means, “Will you keep walking?” That’s then a question about your intention to do more walking. Put the “noch” in, and you add to the sentence the same sense of something continuing, and then the translation is more like: “Do you want to carry on walking?” You’re now asking if the person is going to stroll or walk a little while longer.

Vielleicht kaufe ich noch was ein. (Maybe I’ll just quickly do a little shopping as well)

If you leave out the “noch”, you simply get “Maybe I’ll do some shopping.” The “noch” here can have at least two meanings, depending on the exact context:

  • You’ve already bought a few things, and you’re now considering buying more.
  • You’re planning the rest of your day and thinking about what you want to buy. You’ve calculated that you should be able to fit all your tasks in with some time to spare, and you’ve noticed that you’re beginning to run a little short on some things. So you think you may be able to get some shopping done.

Was habe ich noch getan? (What else did I do?)

You would most likely use this phrase when trying to remember what you did previously. Maybe you’ve left something out.

It’s difficult because there is no simple translation for this kind of thing. Basically, “noch” is used to convey a sense of something in addition or more of the same.

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Thank you!! This really clarifies it a lot! Really in depth explanation thanks again.

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Great explanation! I’m always utterly stunned by the variety of meanings and uses of those seemingly insignificant words you become aware of once you start thinking about it. Reminds me of that time I was asked about the meaning of “doch” :wink:

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