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  5. "Kommen Sie doch mal vorbei!"

"Kommen Sie doch mal vorbei!"

Translation:Come on over!

January 10, 2013



Can anyone please explain the meaning of the sentence? Looking at it word by word i didn't get the answer.


From a German grammar book by Norman Paxton I learned that "doch" and "mal" are used as 'particles' in this sentence in this way:

Doch - It intensifies an imperative, often adding a pleading tone.

Mal - Is more often that not better left untranslated; it lends a pleasant informality of tone.

Particles (auch, denn, doch, eben, eigentlich, etwa, ja, mal, noch, nur, schon, wohl etc.) - These words are exceedingly difficult to translate, and often supply the sentence with a tone which in english is communicated purely by the intonation and so exists only in the spoken and not in the written language.

"Colloquial German stands or falls by an ample scattering of dean, doc, ja, mal, school, so etc., without which it sounds bleak and impersonal" (A. E. Hammer)


Thanks for your very interesting post, notcor11. "Doch" is a particularly hard word to put into English. I knew a German in Berlin who used it to mean "to the contrary" if he disagreed with a statement. My first year German book had it as "yet". My Wirtin once said to me "Doch kannst du das nicht machen!" I knew what she meant, but find it hard to express it in English correctly. The closest I can come is "But you cannot do that".


Other interpretations of 'doch' from the same book...

Doch is used to give an affirmative response where a negative one is expected: Das kann ich mir nicht leisten. Doch! - I can't afford that. Yes, you can.

It is often used to contradict or correct the previous utterance: Es macht doch etwas aus. - But it does matter. Er wird doch kommen. - Yes he will come.

It can also add a sense of 'if only': Hättest du es mir doch gesagt! - If only you had told me!

Also, 'denn doch' expresses indignation or protest: Das geht denn doch zu weit! - That's going too far!

I believe the second one can be applied to your sentence. I find the use of Particles along with the correct usage of prepositions challenging, it must be something that comes with time as you build up a certain 'feeling for the language' (das Sprachgefühl).


Many thanks for the clarifications!


So if 'doch' intensifies an imperative and 'mal' softens it, do they basically cancel each other out when used together?


I wonder if it's like politely saying "I insist"


Couldnt we say "Come over just in case?"


Knowing that "vorbeikommen" means "drop by" helps a lot to understand this.


Watching the German version of Baman Piderman really makes this hard to forget.

"Ich bin Baman
Ich bin Piderman
Dann komm ich vorbei!
Wir sind beste Freunde!"


Genau - this really helped - thank you


The English equivalent (not translation) would be: Why don't you drop in sometime.


I've been told that "doch" lessons the command tense into a strong, heartfelt, request. "Doch" is often included to mitigate any chance that a sentence is an order. Is that right?


This makes total sense.


"mal" is the same I believe. Not to make it heartfelt, but just to make it casual and emphasize that it's a polite request.


How would the meaning change if it were not the formal 'Sie"? "Komm doch mal vorbei!"


The sentence sounds more like an invitation than a command and I translated it as: 'Do come over' which got rejected.


I just tried that too, and reported it.


Duolingo has gotten much better at introducing idioms in the drop down menu, but not in this case.


So vorbei can mean "over to a place" and "a period of time is over"?

I know we have the same thing in English, but for some reason I'm second guessing it. If someone can confirm, that'd put my mind at ease.


'Come by here!' was turned down. I still do not have a decent explanation about what the inviter is trying do, how friendly he (she) is trying to be, etc. However, 'Come on by once ' was offered by DL as an alternative. Now, that is a guarded statement!


I wonder if doch vorbei simply add emphasis or urging (like when the other person is hesitating about coming over) like in the expression "come on over already!"?


I suggested "In any case, come over some time." After reading this I think the common way I would say this where I'm from would be closer to "Feel free to drop by." but I think those two phrases are pretty much interchangeable.


Hmm, "Come by once" was accepted. I was looking at the sentence more "literally" I think.


Is "Drop in/by" accepted as well?


I wrote "Stop by" because that is what we say where I live and it was rejected.


I thought i heard noch


'Come any time' means the same as the suggested answer but was rejected


Mal is a word that refers to a "time". This is specifically in the mathematical sense rather than the temporal sense. It is often used in math as the multiplication operator, but also to literally describe the number of times something has/does/will happen.

In many uses including this one, mal doesn't have a definite translation in English, but simply makes the request seem more cordial, similar to the use of "on" in "Come on over" which seems more friendly that simply stating "Come over".

You might have chosen "again" because of the phrase "noch einmal" which could be taken by its parts to mean "yet one time" or "one time still". The phrase translates more appropriately to "once more" or "again". It is also sometimes shortened to "nochmal"


Thanks Jack you are right confused with nochmal again ....


What's the purpose of a sentence like this? C'mon!


invite me over and we'll talk about it ;)


Sounds like a lot of wording for what I would consider to be an informal phrase. How about "Überkommen Sie!"


That's "to overcome" not "to come over". You want to use "vorbeikommen", and (to the degree that I understand particles) you want to use "doch mal" to make it sound more like a friendly request, like the "on" in the English sentence.


I had no idea that 'vorbei' was such a literal (and in this case colloquial) translation of 'over.' I thought it meant 'finished, done.' Oh well, three years later I'm still learning from DL.


The translation depends on the context: "Wir trinken gerade ein Glas Bier, kommen Sie doch mal vorbei!" = "Come on over!" or; "Wir können das weiter besprechen - kommen Sie ..."in which case it means "drop in some time".


There are many ways of translating this: come on over! Do drop in! Come to see me! The "doch" just emphasises the invitation.


Somehow the German sentence feels like inviting someone warmly, doch mal vorbei, don't let it over/waste it etc, I feel intuitively, but I have no idea what the English phrase is about.


Come and visit sometime.


'Do come over' was marked wrong. I think an English translation of 'doch' is the polite 'do' form. it has the requisite pleading tone.


"Just come over" is accepted


Why Duo gives absolutely useless hints? And not only in this sentence? After such examples I think to stop studying here, it's impossible to guess, what they want.

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