Question, can I use the preposition from instead of of if I'm talking about actions instead of people with that expression? For example:

Guy #1: I'm not a big fan of women with stretch marks and cellulite.

Guy #2: You might as well steer clear from/of dating women altogether then.


The idiomatic expression is steer clear of.

This ngram shows that "steer clear from" is never or rarely used, and I would write any examples off as mistakes.

If you do hear people say it, they may be mixing it up with similar expressions that use "from", such as:

  • stay away from drugs
  • keep clean from drugs

These mean pretty much the same thing as "steer clear of drugs".

The word "clear" has many uses and definitions, but the relevant definition here is:

Not touching; away from.

"the lorry was wedged in the ditch, one wheel clear of the ground"

Examples in other dictionaries all use "clear of" for this definition also.

| improve this answer | |
  • Cambridge Online also has a dedicated listing for the idiomatic use of "steer clear of". – urnonav Oct 21 '19 at 15:01

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