I had translated the sentences,

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


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?

  • 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, 2020 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
    Aug 7, 2020 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, 2020 at 14:57

1 Answer 1


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.

  • 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] Aug 7, 2020 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, 2020 at 9:39
  • 1
    English does have this, too. "Will do", colloq. for "I will do so" - a similar construction.
    – dlatikay
    Aug 7, 2020 at 16:37

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