1. Ich komme gern, aber ich kenne die Adresse nicht.
  2. Ich komme gern, aber die Adresse kenne ich nicht.
  • 1
    The sentence element directly following a conjuction is less emphasized. So, the first sentence focuses on die Adresse (nicht), while the second focuses on kenne ich (nicht).
    – Janka
    Apr 24, 2018 at 14:13

3 Answers 3


(1) is the most common word order (subject - verb - object).

By putting Adresse in front of the verb, (2) puts more emphasis on the fact that the address is missing.

Compare the following sentence from Franz Kafka:

Einen Wagen hatte ich [...], aber das Pferd fehlte, das Pferd.

Here the fact that a car is available (as opposed to the horse) is stressed by putting einen Wagen (the object - more commonly placed after the verb) before the verb.

  • Do you think that the usage of the second structure shows that the writer is grammatically good ?In other words do you think is keeps a good impression about the writer
    – user32804
    Apr 24, 2018 at 19:02
  • 1
    @user32804 I am pretty sure that Franz Kafka, one of the most famous German writers of Czech nationality, would be considered to "have left a good impression".
    – tofro
    Apr 25, 2018 at 10:02
  • 1
    @user32804 Both are perfectly valid German sentences.
    – RHa
    Apr 25, 2018 at 10:06

As already explained in another comment the main difference is in the emphasis of the word "Adresse". In general, whenever you have something that is not the subject in the first position of a sentence, it means that it is emphasised, similar to English.

Translating to English your sentences would be:


Ich komme gern, aber ich kenne die Adresse nicht. I gladly come, but I do not know the address.

  1. Ich komme gern, aber die Adresse kenne ich nicht. I gladly come, the address, though, I do not know.

I would like to point out that your examples both include

Ich komme gerne

which means "I like coming" which to me looks incorrect in both languages

I would personally advise

Ich möchte zu komme

Which uses möchte in the sense of "would like"

(want would work to, but the former is better in this case)

implying that you would like to come

I hope this helps you(I would have written this in a comment, but my reputation is less than 50.) If you do have a particular reason for using "Ich komme gerne" please tell me.

  • 2
    Ich komme gerne is a perfectly legal sentence in German. And your proposed alternative should be ich möchte zu dir kommen.
    – tofro
    Apr 24, 2018 at 18:09
  • 2
    "Ich komme gern" should be translated "I (would) like to come" and that sounds quite fine to me. "Ich komme gern" is fine too. "Ich möchte zu komme" is not correct at all, however. I guess you meant "ich möchte gern kommen" or "Ich möchte zu dir kommen". Apr 24, 2018 at 18:45
  • 2
    "ich möchte zu komme" würde kein Muttersprachler sagen.
    – Robert
    Apr 24, 2018 at 19:16
  • @Robert ... auch kein Deutschlerner mit ein bisschen Durchblick und 'feeling'. Apr 26, 2018 at 17:11

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