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I saw this sentence in a DaF grammar exercise book:

Statt dass wir hier lange Erklärungen geben, sollten wir lieber mit den Übungen anfangen.

I found the structure very interesting, so I googled it. And I found a discussion on one of the language forums where a couple of people expressed their opinion and said that "statt dass" doesn't sound very good in German.

They recommend rephrasing it into "statt ... zu..." structure. So I guess it would be something like: "Statt hier lange Erklärungen zu geben..."

Is that true? Then why would they include it in a textbook for someone who learns German as a second language?

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Sounds bad style to me too... textbooks are not always the greatest. Maybe just take it as an example that they are not perfect –  Emanuel Mar 31 '13 at 20:43
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But this sentence is from a Hueber textbook Großes Übungsbuch Grammatik. This company publishes a lot of books about languages. So strange that they don't pay attention to bad style. –  stillenat Apr 1 '13 at 13:41
    
I think it is grammatically correct but I'd never write it that way. I might say though. –  Steffen Roller Apr 1 '13 at 18:53
    
It is more recent usage. While it is still considered bad style, it nonetheless is correct. I recommend using the sentence using "... zu ...". If you are still learning German, it is helpful to first learn the "good style" and only later let it slip a little. That way, you can better understand the underlying rules. –  TvF Apr 3 '13 at 9:50
    
the "statt ... zu..." structure is veeerrry correct and sounds good or "anstelle, dass wir hier lange warten, sollten wir..." –  john Smith Mar 16 at 19:10
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1 Answer

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Using "Statt dass" would be quite the same as using 'stead of in English. It wouldn't be wrong, but it would also be a bit sloppy. I would recommend "Anstatt lange Erklärungen zu geben, sollten wir lieber mit den Übungen anfangen." which would mean "instead ofgiving long explanations…".

Or, an alternative that would also be nice: "Anstelle langer Erklärungen" ["In place of long explanations [where the meaning of "long" would be in the direction of exhausting] …"

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Depending on the word order stattdessen may also be a good choice. –  0xC0000022L Apr 6 '13 at 19:58
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