I often have to describe other people's writing styles and conventions in German (I am not a native speaker). I have used 'Schreibweise benutzen' a few times in the past (e.g. 'man soll hier Schreibweise X statt Schreibweise Y benutzen'), but now I'm having doubts about whether 'benutzen' is the correct collocation.

Can anyone confirm this? What is the right way to say it?

  • 1
    Benutzen is okay. Some people prefer verwenden but there is no real reason to do so. They are pretty equivalent in that phrase. Oh, and you should use man sollte (same as the cooking recipe phrase man nehme) because man soll without the Konjunktiv form reads to me as if you have doubts yourself.
    – Janka
    Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 14:43

1 Answer 1


"Schreibweise" usually refers to the spelling. If you want to suggest better collocations to the author or editor, you should use die Formulierung (writing style) or der (feststehende) Ausdruck (collocation).

Man sollte hier den Ausdruck XY verwenden.
Hier sollte die Formulierung XY verwendet werden.

"benutzen" is far more colloquial than "verwenden", so the last would be a better choice.

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