So there's this beautiful German word "doch" which is mostly used to contradict a contradiction.


Ich war heute schon draußen
I already went outside today

Nein warst du nicht
No you weren't


I know there's no one-word translation for it, but how can I express it in English in this context?

  • 3
    No one-word translation? Google offers "but" and other 12 translations for "doch". Maybe if you describe some context or include an example of what you are looking for. "contradict a contradiction" is not very helpful.
    – RubioRic
    Commented May 23, 2018 at 7:08
  • 2
    French has an equivalent word- Si, but you are right that there is no single-word equivalent in English for doch as a positive answer to a negative statement. See the Cambridge Dictionary: they propose "Yes, I do/will/have" as the translation. dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/german-english/doch
    – JavaLatte
    Commented May 23, 2018 at 14:12

3 Answers 3


We have, yes but, expressed in the midwestern U.S. as, yahbut (rhymes with rabbit and is spoken as a single word).

It is always expressed in the positive, yes but, and never, no but.

The yes acknowledges the original contradiction, the but sets the stage for the subsequent contra-contradiction, and the phrase following but contradicts.

Example --

p1: "I went to the store."

p2: "You lounged on the couch all day!"

p1: "Yes but I got up and went to the store at around 10 p.m."

  • Note: Both yes but and no but can be used to answer a question and then provide additional information but only yes but can stand alone as a contra-contradiction.
    – EllieK
    Commented May 23, 2018 at 12:25
  • What you suggested isn't a contradiction to the first contradiction, it's rather a confirmation/expansion of the contradiction
    – Nanogamer7
    Commented May 23, 2018 at 14:06
  • @Nanogamer7 Is it the time of day thing that is confusing? Should I change it to a daylight hour like 4 p.m.? If you suggest I've lounged on the couch all day and reply that I went to the store, then obviously I have not lounged on the couch all day. That would, I believe, be a contradiction.
    – EllieK
    Commented May 23, 2018 at 14:15
  • @Nanogamer7 I see your edits. My answer does not address doch as you use it. There is no equivalent.
    – EllieK
    Commented May 23, 2018 at 14:17
  • 'Yes' sounds like a confirmation to me, so I assumed it's no contradiction. If it actually is a contradiction, can you please explain it further?
    – Nanogamer7
    Commented May 23, 2018 at 14:19

No you were not. - Was, too!

No you did not. - Did, too!

No you can not. - Can, too! Etc...

No you did not. - I so did!

These are all mostly used in childrens' talk, though.


Can I make a suggestion as a German?

I have already been outside today. No, you haven't. Yes, I have!

  • It's a possible translation but far not as [Schlagkräftig, dunno the English word for it] as 'doch'
    – Nanogamer7
    Commented May 23, 2018 at 15:54

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