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Words like the following are called particles:

doch, bloß, halt, mal, nicht, sehr, überaus, sogar, selbst, auch, erst, schon, überhaupt

The particles are a very heterogeneous word class. They are described in the chapter Adverb, because many of them have the form of an adverb. Other particles are identical with uninflected adjectives or with pronouns. Our dictionary does not list them separately as particles.

Particles are used to express intensity, emphasis, restriction, supposition or the opinion of the speaker towards what he/she says. Particles have the following characteristics:
  • Particles are invariable.

  • Particles are not full constituents of the sentence. Therefore, they generally cannot occupy alone the first position before the finite verb form, i.e. they cannot be alone in the Vorfeld.

  • In general, particles have no or little lexical meaning.
Particles differ from "normal" adverbs. Therefore most grammars treat them as a separate word class.

According to their function, particles are divided into the following classes:

Intensifying particles
Focus particles
Modal particles 
See also
Negation particles

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