free from, free of

The expressions free from and free of both refer to being delivered from something.

As a general rule, use free from when it can be replaced by “released from” in a sentence.

  • The best thing about vacations is being free from (released from) the daily grind.

Use free of when it can be replaced by “relieved of.”

  • The patient has been free (relieved of the pain) of headaches for several weeks.

Choosing between the prepositions from and of is sometimes a question of interpretation. For example, one may be free from the daily grind (i.e. released from it) or free of the daily routine (i.e. relieved of it), depending on the writer’s point of view.

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