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For example:

Carelessly roaming around the public square, I strayed off the way home.

Can I paraphrase it like this:

Carelessly roaming around the public square, I strayed away from the way home.

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    Can't a dictionary answer your question? Commented Sep 15, 2015 at 17:52
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    @VictorBazarov The four dictionaries I consulted (Collins, Oxford, M-W, AHD) give no explicit guidance on this topic. If you carefully review all the examples given in all four, you might infer that "stray away from the way" is acceptable, but there is nothing to tell you whether that is equivalent to "stray off the way". Commented Sep 15, 2015 at 18:01
  • I think it is better to say, ". . . I went astray on my way home". "Go astray" suits your context IMO.
    – shin
    Commented Sep 15, 2015 at 18:14

1 Answer 1

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Stray off X is not really a phrasal verb, it means what it says literally. One typically strays off a known path, course, or defined area.

So by saying this:

I strayed off the way home.

you are

  • assuming the listener/reader knows what "the way home" is and that it's a known path or course you take home, or:
  • indirectly telling the listener/reader there is such a known path or course you take home.
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  • So the "stray off" is grammatically correct,right?
    – 오준수
    Commented Sep 16, 2015 at 0:34
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    It is grammatically correct.
    – LawrenceC
    Commented Nov 15, 2015 at 2:38

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