I’m studying German using the book Berliner Platz and I read in it someone saying:

Ich trinke Kaffee schwarz.

Shouldn’t schwarz (adjective) go before the noun Kaffee as in

Ich trinke schwarzen Kaffee.

  • Apparantly it’s written down, so it’s clear. Had it been spoken, it could also have been ‘Ich trinke Kaffee. Schwarz’, i.e. two full stops. It would be distinguishable by intonation.
    – Jan
    Jan 20, 2016 at 10:01

1 Answer 1


"Schwarz" serves as an adverb here. "Den Kaffee schwarz trinken" has a special meaning of drinking coffee without milk.

  • That's what I thought but when I searched for "schwarz" in the dictionary I didn't found anything about it being an adverb. Nevertheless, Duden has the same example, so I just have to accept it.
    – dsalfran
    Jan 19, 2016 at 23:53
  • The first sentence also strongly indicates a habit, so in would translate to English I'm used to drink coffee without milk. In the second sentence this could be just a coincidence and would more relate to a specific sort of coffee (which is a bit strange, since I know of no other colors)
    – guidot
    Jan 20, 2016 at 13:50

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