It is my understanding that the meaning of the “noch immer” and “immer noch” is generally the same, but may have different connotations. Is this true? If so, I would appreciate hearing what the fine line is between them and an example or two to illustrate the nuance of what is being said. Thank you!
noch immer vs. immer noch
December 26, 2020
December 28, 2020
StackExchange has this thread that may help:
December 29, 2020
Guten Tag PaulS108 und sfpugh,
Thank you for your question!
Yes, immer noch and noch immer have the same meaning. They may sometimes have different connotative meanings but it's a very fine line and can also be perceived differently from person to person, for example:
“Bist du noch immer auf der Arbeit?” - “Are you still at work?” (expressing a little astonishment)
“Bist du immer noch auf der Arbeit?” - “Are you still at work?” (more neutral)
Furthermore, immer noch is more commonly used than noch immer which sounds a tad more poetic.
Noch immer can also be placed at the beginning of a sentence, whereas immer noch cannot.
I hope this helps!
December 30, 2020
Thank you both for your helpful replies. Although there is only a connotative difference between the two phrases above, it appears to nevertheless be a good distinction to be aware of, owing to the fact that using one phrase or the other could nuance a native speaker's understanding of the situation.
I realise that as a level 3 German learner, I still have a long way to go on a “macro” level in learning German; however, I really enjoy being enlightened to the fine points of the language as they instil an additional level of confidence when speaking to a native speaker.