I checked out the case-government issue of trotz in Duden's Richtige-und-Gutes-Deutsch and Langenscheidt-Großwörterbuch-Deutsch-als-Fremdsprache;
both references mark its dative government as colloquial and this stylistic issue has become a major concern :
I dare not use ,,trotz'' with the dative case, for fear that some day I would use it out of habit in academic writing, where colloquialism is definitely frowned upon;
so I'd like to request a clarification: should trotz+ dative noun be avoided in academic writing for the sake of style?

  • "trotz" + dative = colloquial - Agreed, but so commonly used nowadays (even in public media) that probably one of the next Duden releases will accept it as correct. "trotz" + genitive, on the other hand, has a slight touch of elitism to it, IMHO.
    – tofro
    May 5, 2016 at 9:25
  • Nowadays, and in the 18th century. ;-) May 7, 2016 at 7:58
  • 1
    Instead of putting the question on hold, why don't replace "Should be avoided" with "Is avoided", and then it becomes a question with a potential objective answer. I've done so now. May 7, 2016 at 8:07
  • @A.M.Bittlingmayer: I’m not sure this edit is a good idea anyway, but only changing the title so that it no longer corresponds to the actual question in the body is definitely nit the right way.
    – chirlu
    May 7, 2016 at 10:32
  • @chirlu Point taken re consistency. So in the name of being constructive shall we change the question to similar one that can generate objective answers? May 7, 2016 at 11:38

1 Answer 1


Formal writing seems decisively in favour of trotz + genitive, as it has been since the mid-19th century.

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The larger dynamic here is that the use of SMS and the like have democratised writing a bit, therefore dialect (for example Swiss) and vernacular elements generally are being written a bit more. But that is different than any shift in what is printed in formal writing.

And of course the firmly established trotzdem is based on the dative.


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