The people were complimentary from the barbaric dictator.

You are watching: Free of or free from

Or: The people were cost-free of the barbaric dictator.

The mashed potato were cost-free from lumps. Or: The mashed potatoes were cost-free of lumps.

I wish I can be complimentary from this terrible cold. Or: I great I can be cost-free of this devastating cold.

It appears to me that the terms "free from" and "free of" have the right to be supplied interchangeably. Execute the two have unique meanings? Is one more correct than the other? are there exceptions?


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They space not specifically interchangeable, yet the difference is really subtle. Come illustrate, allow me very first change your instance sentences into the forms I find most agreeable.

The human being were cost-free of the barbaric dictator.

The mashed potato were free of lumps.

I great I can be rid the this terrible cold.

This demonstrates that "free of" is most comfortable for me when supplied to suggest that miscellaneous no longer is beset by an entity that had actually been pervasively enmeshed in its very existence, together a dictator controls every side of a people"s lives, as the lumps in mashed potatoes influence every bite the the food.

"Free from," ~ above the other hand, seems to indicate much more of an to escape in the instance of something the was much more externally attached, together in, "Now at last i am complimentary from the annoying attention of mine mother, that wouldn"t leaving me alone till I relocated to new York."

As because that the last example, "rid the this devastating cold," I uncover "rid" to work better with one invader, such together a disease, or anything that is an ext "invasive" as opposed come "pervasive." In various other words, I would say: "I require to remove that mite that"s to be biting me all day." I would not say: "I need to be cost-free from that tick." and that"s why i would use "rid of" v a cold, quite than "free" (no matter whether of or from).

Let me take it it a little bit further. If we extend the conceptualization to words "freedom," i think we"ll find more basis because that differentiation in the choices between "free of" and "free from." therefore let"s shot a couple of examples.

"Freedom from want." "Freedom indigenous fear." "Freedom from hunger." this phrases can not be constructed using the word "of." They show of being totally free from an reality that is externally attached in a conceptually philosophical way; hunger besets you, are afraid comes ~ above you, "want" sinks its claws right into you. If you have the right to remove these points from her life, you are "free from" the undesirable attention (attack) of these things.

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And one more distinction that I uncover to be rather telling:

"Free of" is best used v nouns ("At critical I"m totally free of those thoughts), whereas "free from" functions much much better with verb forms ("At last I"m free from thinking the way). It just doesn"t job-related well because that me the other means around.