Consider the following sentences with two holes:

Der Titel des ersten Abschnittes dieses Manuskripts ist dem Titel des zweiten Abschnittes viel zu ähnlich. Man sollte ___(A)___ ___(B)___ ändern.

The meaning of the second sentence should be, roughly speaking, "One of these titles should be changed."

Which words would fit at positions (A) and (B)?

For (A):

   A1. einen

   A2. eins

For (B):

   B1. von beiden

   B2. von den beiden

   B3. davon

   B4. der beiden

   B5. der Titel

   B6. von Titeln

   B7. von den Titeln

Please justify your choices. References to established sources are overly welcome.

(Remark: no, it's NOT a homework.)

EDIT: The way it is now (thanks to Björn Friedrich!), I'm wondering whether B1-B4 still make it clear that the titles rather than the sections should be changed.


3 Answers 3


I would write:

Der Titel des ersten Abschnittes dieses Manuskripts ist dem Titel des zweiten Abschnittes viel zu ähnlich. Man sollte einen der beiden Titel ändern.

  • In the first sentence, it is clear that you are talking about Titel. Its second mention is redundant, and, therefore, I dropped it.
  • In the second sentence, the reference to Titel would be clear from the context even without mentioning it there. But if you are emphatic about referring to Titel, and not to Abschnitte, then simply mention it again.

In my opinion it should be

man sollte einen von beiden ändern

This is the most common use I guess.

B6 is wrong, but it would also be correct to use B2 through B7 (except for B6). B5 and B7 are overly redundant, as it is clear that von (den) beiden or davon refers to the titles.

It is also pretty clear that is must be einen, because it is der/ein Titel, thus the accusative is einen Titel. Omitting Titel does not change einen to eins. Einen der beiden/einen von den beiden/einen von beiden is short for einen Titel der beiden Titel/einen Titel von den beiden Titeln/einen Titel von beiden Titeln. You're just omitting the nouns here, as the connection is clear.

  • I agree, except about B6: The indefinite form of the noun is not correct here.
    – Annatar
    Jun 13, 2018 at 13:42
  • @Annatar You are right. I read this wrong. Jun 13, 2018 at 13:43
  • @MdAyquassar You can say that, but it has a very strong commanding connotation to it. Einer von beiden sollte geändert werden is a suggestion. Einer von beiden ist zu ändern means one of them is to be changed and sounds a bit rude. Jun 13, 2018 at 13:45

As pointed out before, the combination of A1 and B1 is the most elegant.

This Wiktionary article lists this combination as a common combination for beide and may be used as reference: https://de.wiktionary.org/wiki/beide

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