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This question came to me after reading someone's comment somewhere. She wrote:

She did not have a clue as to how to relate to the teenagers.

I've seen people here commonly use the phrase as to when explaining their answers. I haven't realized it's an idiom [used when you are referring to something] until I looked-up. I've been using 'for' before this. So, before I knew I could use this (I hadn't known the usage of this idiom), perhaps, I would write:

She did not have a clue for how to relate to the teenagers.

The reason is both as to and for have the same translation in my native language. Does using for still make sense?

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  • "not have a clue ... how to" can be used with "as to", "about" or nothing. "For" is incorrect.
    – gotube
    Nov 27, 2021 at 7:01
  • Leaving out "as to" altogether giving "She did not have a clue how to relate to teenagers" is probably the best bet.
    – BoldBen
    Nov 27, 2021 at 7:43

1 Answer 1

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The phrasal preposition "as to" is widely used and has a long history in English, but some people (including me) frown upon it. It sounds somewhat awkward to me, and when editing others' writing, I often recommend changing it. (I'm not saying that it's technically wrong, only that I think that other prepositions sound better.) In your sentence, "for" would be unusual; I would use "about".

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