5

I had translated the sentences,

John: Tell Alex to get well soon.
Ben: I will, I'm fine.

as,

John: Sag Alex »Gute Besserung«.
Ben: Ich werde tun, mir geht es gut.

and a native German speaker corrected it like this:

John: Sag Alex »Gute Besserung.«
Ben: Werde ich, mir geht es gut.

Why did she reverse the order of the verb and subject?

3
  • 2
    What is that I'm fine intended to transport? Is it simply, that Bens is not (yet) sick (then a whole new sentence would be more appropriate, but definitely something different from a mere comma) or that he is (gladly) willing to do that task? – guidot Aug 7 '20 at 12:05
  • 1
    @guidot: English note: "convey" and "transport" are total synonyms when talking about moving physical packages, but "convey" is the only one you can use with "meaning", even if the word "meaning" is left implicit. – JonathanZ supports MonicaC Aug 7 '20 at 15:43
  • 1
    If Ben is answering colloquially the future tense is inappropriate in German. A German speaker would use the present tense. Maybe "Mach ich". "Werde ich" sounds stilted. – Ola La Aug 8 '20 at 14:57
20

Ich werde tun is incorrect because there is an object missing.

A way to correct this is to add a prounoun, for example a das:

Das werde ich tun.

Now, in spoken German it is possible to omit a pronoun in first position. This gives us:

Werde ich tun.

This is called an ellipsis and is valid German, although mostly restricted to colloquial usage.

3
  • 5
    "... to omit a pronoun in first position" -- and even the second part of the verb, including a possible dative object: [das] werde ich [(ihm) sagen/ausrichten; machen/tun] – amadeusamadeus Aug 7 '20 at 0:14
  • 5
    Note that you could also say "Ich werde das/es tun", but while technically applicable it's not very commonly used. Maybe this variant could also be pointed out in this answer? – Sty Aug 7 '20 at 9:39
  • 1
    English does have this, too. "Will do", colloq. for "I will do so" - a similar construction. – dlatikay Aug 7 '20 at 16:37

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.