In the sentence,
Tell me if opinions are something I should steer away from.
Is the use of "are" before "something" correct?
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
In English, the subject and verb in a sentence should "agree" with each other. This is called, unsurprisingly, "subject verb agreement." For example, "I asked Bob if he is a teacher." It would not be correct to use "are" because it doesn't agree with it's subject "Bob." Like wise, "Is you a teacher?" isn't correct because "is" doesn't agree with its subject "you."
In your sentence, Tell me if opinions are something I should steer away from. the verb "are" agrees with its subject "opinions." Notice that the sentence starts with "tell" which agrees with "you."
Something is a word that talks about an unspecified or undetermined thing, and as a subject takes a singular verb:
"Something is wrong with my car." "I asked him if there was something wrong with my presentation."
The difficulty with your sentence is that you have a plural subject, "opinions" being connected with the copula "are" to a renaming complement that is undefined. It would probably be better to say "Opinions are things I should steer away from." I say "probably" because in speech, I'm pretty sure this is common.
For uncountables "is" is used, "Bread is something I love to eat." or "Water is something you can't live without."
If the subject is "there" or "it" the verb will change, "There is something strange about his book," "It is something I hate doing," however, "There are some things wrong with your presentation." or "There are some interesting things to think about in your paper."