- replace, substitute1. The typical construction is to replace A with B (or, in the passive, B is replaced by A), or B can simply replace A, whereas with substitute it is to substitute B for A or to substitute B without any continuation (more usually in the passive: B is substituted). (In all cases, A is the person or thing ‘going out’ and B the one ‘coming in’.) Examples: (replace).
• It is nice to see ‘stewardess’ and ‘steward’ gradually being replaced by the general term ‘flight attendant’ —Scientific American, 1982
• Rugby nightmares replaced nightmares about witches, which had been the basis of my bad dreams for several years —C. Jennings, 1990
• Today, compost toilets are being replaced with Western-style flush systems, despite the fact that Ladakh has no sewers —Ecologist, 2000
• (substitute) Visibility on the course, however, was too poor to permit the senior relay and a three-mile race was substituted —Liverpool Echo, 1976
• Feel free to substitute your favorite whole-grain pasta for the ones I've recommended —Natural Health Magazine, AmE 2002.2. The use of substitute for replace is a more usual error than the reverse:
• ☒ Some years ago I complimented a rabbi friend on the quality of the Kiddush wine. He confessed that he had substituted it with a decent Côtes du Rhône —Times, 2007.When a football commentator reports that a player is being substituted, he is referring to the outgoing player and means replaced, but the choice is determined by the dominant influence of the noun substitute by which the incoming player is known.
Modern English usage. 2014.