kaum means hardly or scarcely. It is not a true negative. It expresses a limit.
It can be used with verbs, adjectives or nouns.
doch and ja both mean 'yes' in German.
The usual word for 'yes' is ja when it's the opposite of nein – no.
But doch must be used to mean 'yes' in response to a negative question, or to contradict a negative statement.
It is also used to stress a contrast or a certainty.
Check your understanding of doch and kaum by putting the correct word into the gap in the sentence. What do the finished sentences mean?
Bielefeld is a large town in the German federal state of Nordrhein Westfalia which dates back to the ninth century.
In the 1990s, a running joke was spread via the internet that the town does not actually exist – die Stadt existiert nicht. Even the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, joined in the fun when she questioned Bielefeld’s existence in a speech.
Far from being annoyed by the Bielefeld conspiracy, the town’s council decided to play along by releasing a press statement entitled Bielefeld gibt es doch (Bielefeld actually does exist) – on April Fool’s Day.