7

What other verbs can be used in the following context instead of "keep ... away"?

If I study alone, I can keep myself away from potential distractions or interruptions from other students in the study group.

1
  • Just want to say that your original expression is perfectly natural and every bit as good as the synonyms. Doesn't mean it's not nice to have those synonyms handy, but I don't want you to think this is a bad way to put it. – Mark Foskey Apr 12 at 1:22
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There are several options, especially if you do not mind changing the preposition from, including:

  • protect myself from
  • shield myself from
  • defend myself against
  • guard myself against

The first option sounds the most natural to me.

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  • 3
    They all sound as though the writer is under a potential threat. Of bodily harm. Which isn't the way I read the question. – Tim Apr 12 at 12:29
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    @Tim: It fits with the given context (as distractions are being considered as to-be-avoided nuisances by the speaker), but you are right that there are contexts in which this wouldn't work, e.g. temporarily maintaining distance from someone who does not intend to harm/annoy you. – Flater Apr 13 at 9:29
  • @Tim Excellent point. I like shield in that sense as "shield myself from" doesn't really convey that. – RhinoWalrus Apr 13 at 22:37
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If I study alone, I can avoid potential distractions or interruptions from other students in the study group.

That is the simplest way to say this.

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    This is definitely the best answer for the example in the body, although it doesn't work for the title's use case of keeping somebody/something else away. – MJD Apr 12 at 18:04
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ward off potential distractions

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Farlex has

keep at bay

keep (someone or something) at bay
To keep someone or something at a distance or from reaching full potency, especially in order to prevent harm to oneself.

If you keep something or someone at bay or hold them at bay, you stop them from attacking you or harming you.

In your case, you could

keep potential distractions or interruptions from other students at bay.

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To distance yourself.

If I study alone, I can distance myself from potential distractions or interruptions from other students in the study group.

Source

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insulate is commonly used:

If I study alone, I can insulate myself from potential distractions or interruptions from other students in the study group.

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Surprised no ones suggested Isolate

If I study alone, I can isolate myself from potential distractions or interruptions from other students in the study group.

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Sequester, it's not a common word, but means to isolate or hide away.

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There are some more descriptive options, such as avoid/elude/evade:

"If I study alone, I can elude potential distractions or interruptions from other students in the study group."

"If I study alone, I can evade potential distractions or interruptions from other students in the study group."

"If I study alone, I can avoid potential distractions or interruptions from other students in the study group."

You can in fact use "keep" with "from" instead of "away" and it is still understandable, if you just want to not use "away":

I keep myself from potential distractions..."

For perhaps other ocasions, you might be want to use "Withold from" or "Refrain from" to emphasise your resistance to distraction.

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