The possessive use of the genitive is often substituted by the preposition von. This substitution is –according to many native speakers– rather inelegant, or even frowned upon. For instance

die neue Tasse von meinem Vater ← die neue Tasse meines Vaters

I am interested in finding out if the inverse process happens for the following particular case. Consider verbs that carry the preposition von:

  • abbringen von
  • abhalten von
  • von (Objekt) absehen
  • träumen von …

Could this von be substituted by a genitive-construction? Or maybe it was so in the past? Say

Sie bringt ihn von seinem verrückten Plan ab. → Sie bringt ihn seines verrückten Plans.

and similarly for the remaining verbs.

  • Never heard of this happening with verbs. Do you have a reference you want explained, or is just a hypothesis by analogy? Commented Dec 2, 2013 at 12:19
  • @KilianFoth nur aus reiner Neugier darauf, ob der umgekehrte Prozess sinnvoll ist.
    – c.p.
    Commented Dec 2, 2013 at 12:22
  • 2
    actually it is not the preposition "von", but a Dative construction. that makes doing that for the preposition a bit very difficult ;)
    – Vogel612
    Commented Dec 2, 2013 at 14:54
  • @Vogel612 well yes, but as far as I understand, a dative-construction that needs a preposition, namely, von. 'cause you *do not say "die neue Tase meinem Vater ~ die neue Tase meines Vaters"
    – c.p.
    Commented Dec 2, 2013 at 16:13
  • 1
    then please try to make any verb Dative ;) the point is, you need a substantive for this construction in any case.
    – Vogel612
    Commented Dec 2, 2013 at 16:20

1 Answer 1


This "inverse process" does not exist. These verbs only make sense if you give the information what these verbs refer to. Think about the verb put. You can only use it if you give the information what to put somewhere. With 'träumen' it's similar. (Although vonis optional ) If you want to express what you dreamed about you have to use von to show the relation. Like: "Ich träume von einer Sprache, die alle sprechen können."

Maybe that helps seeing the difference between the von in the case construction and the von in relation with the verbs. Verben mit Präpositional-Ergänzungen

  • ok, not even in poetry? not even in old German?
    – c.p.
    Commented Dec 2, 2013 at 16:14
  • no. As it is no part of the german language. As I tried to say. Your process would be about hiding necessary information.
    – Londane
    Commented Dec 2, 2013 at 16:20

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