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I need to say (in passive voice) that a certain set of objects was cleaned from (pruned of/pruned from?) certain subsets of undesirable objects. I know that prune away [undesired objects] is one of the proper forms. It is, however, not totally clear if from or of is better after prune.

Example: I have a set A that I start with. I then identify a subset B of it, which has to be removed for some reason. Then I say "Set A was pruned from/of set B".

Right now I'm using prune from, but want to decrease my uncertainty and hesitation.

  • It's not clear what you are asking. Are you saying that set B was removed from set A because it did not fit? And, if so, are you saying that set B was "pruned from" set A? Or that set A was "pruned of" set B? Or vice versa? – Brian Hitchcock Feb 3 '15 at 10:57
  • I have a set A that I start with. I then identify a subset B of it, which has to be removed for some reason. Then I say "Set A was pruned from/of set B". I'll add this example to the question. – chronos Feb 4 '15 at 11:32
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There is an idiomatic use of :

Prune something of (off) something:

  • to clear, clean, or groom something of something by pruning. Sally was out in the orchard pruning the apple trees of dead branches. They pruned the roses of their unneeded branches.

a check with Ngram shows a good number of examples of prune from used in the way you are suggesting:

  • At the heart of that principle is a respect for the author's individuality, purpose, and style, tempered though it is with a deeply felt responsibility to prune from the work whatever stylistic infelicities, inconsistencies, and ambiguities might have ...

  • You can use these reports to prune from your database those individuals you've proven don't fit into your family lines —

  • Bruce Nichols and Celia Knight of the Free Press worked to bring coherence to the work, and to prune from it many of my detours and obscurities.

  • While k-NN search on the raw data requires access to all trajectories on the disk, using the above simple technique we can prune from examination most of the trajectories.

  • Nice answer, thank you! So, basically, "prune of (off) smth" would be idiomatically correct, while "prune from smth" would still make sense and deliver the intended meaning. Which one you'd prefer? "Prune of"? – chronos Feb 4 '15 at 11:40
  • @chronos - I'd personally use 'prune from' . – user66974 Feb 4 '15 at 12:54

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