Anstatt ihm habe ich sie gewählt.

Is this usage correct or not?

In this thread, the choice between wegen dir and deinetwegen was discussed, seemingly with no conclusive agreement. With "anstatt" or other genitive prepositions, we don't have the form deinetwegen, seinetwegen, etc. So are we restricted to using the dative "Anstatt ihm"?

2 Answers 2


I think you have (at least) three possibilities here:

  1. You take the genitive of the personal pronoun (male, singular) which is seiner:
    Anstatt seiner habe ich sie gewählt.
  2. Since nobody uses the genitive form seiner in every-day speech, you can use the dative form ihm; my guess is that is the most common version but prescriptivists won't like it:
    Anstatt ihm habe ich sie gewählt.
  3. You take the case which is required by the rest of the sentence; here this is accusative case because it is jemanden wählen, so ihn:
    Anstatt ihn habe ich sie gewählt.
  • 2
    Fascinating. You learn that "anstatt" takes genitive and that "wählen" takes accusative; but the most common choice in that sentence is indeed the dative, which technically is only correct if genitive and nominative are not distinguishable. If I were to learn German, I would hate that language.
    – Em1
    Oct 16, 2014 at 7:49
  • If you want to avoid clumsy forms in spoken language such as an seiner Statt, anstatt ihm, an Stelle von ihm and other clumsy forms I would avoid these forms and say: Ich habe mich für sie entschieden und nicht für ihn.
    – rogermue
    Oct 16, 2014 at 10:30
  • To draw a clear line here: Only #1, with 'anstatt' as a genitive preposition, and #3: 'anstatt' as a conjunction passing on the accusative case as governed by the verb 'wählen' are correct. #2 is simply incorrect in standard German and will stick out as a mistake to anyone who has halfway successfully gone through secondary school. (In spoken conversations the words ihm and ihn may however be difficult to differentiate because of individual slurred pronunciation.)
    – user22484
    Mar 29, 2017 at 23:48

The genitive forms of the pronouns are "meiner", "deiner", "seiner", "ihrer", "seiner", "unser", "euer", "ihrer", so it's "anstatt seiner". Note, however, that all the genitive forms are relatively uncommon in colloquial speech.

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