Steering wheel vs wheel

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curiousmarcus

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When playing with a child on a toy car, do you guys often drop the word "steering" from steering wheel when referring to it? Like when you say, "There's a cliff up ahead, keep both of your hands on the (steering) wheel ready for the sharp turn". (It's a pretend game, so no need to worry.) I'm asking because a child might argue that a wheels is one of those circular objects attached to the sides of the car.
 
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Skrej

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Yes, native speakers frequently drop 'steering'. In fact, I'd say we're more likely to drop it than not, unless we're discussing car parts or something.

As an example, here's a song called "Jesus take the wheel". The first instance is at about 1:00 in.
 

JMurray

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not a teacher

I agree with Skrej that we probably drop 'steering' more often than not. However, if I were talking to a child in the sort of context you describe, I might be more inclined to say 'steering wheel' for the purpose of instruction.
 
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