Words like the following are called particles.


bloß, halt, ja, mal, überhaupt, wohl, eben, gerade, aber, ganz, nur, denn, selbst



Particles are not sentence constituents, are not inflected and have no comparative forms.


On a communicative level, particles clarify the intention of the speaker ; on another level, they contribute to the clarification, emphasis, intensification or attenuation of an utterance and the expression of the speaker’s thoughts and feelings (e.g. inner sympathy, impatience, doubt etc.).



The various shades of meaning that can be given to an utterance through the use of the particle doch are presented below.




Giving emphasis on requests

Pass doch auf!

Giving emphasis on approval

Ja doch!

Giving emphasis on impatience 

Komm doch mal her!

Giving emphasis on a wish 

Wäre sie doch da!

Reminder of something known that seems to be forgotten

Sie ist doch kein Kind mehr.

Expression of indignation

Das ist doch nicht mehr zum Aushalten!

Expression of hope for approval

Du hast mich doch nicht betrogen?

Question on a familiar subject, which seems to be momentarily forgotten.

Wie war das doch?



The form of the particles is identical to that of adverbs, adjectives and conjunctions.


gerade Particle Gerade Kinder brauchen viel Zuneigung.
Adverb Er ist gerade gekommen.
ganz Particle Die Pizza schmeckt ganz gut.
Adjective Er hat die ganze Pizza gegessen.
aber Particle Die ist aber dick!
Conjunction Er ist intelligent, aber faul.