Comprise, consist of, be composed of, be comprised of?

This question has been answered · 5 replies

1 the book comprises 3 sections.
2 the book consists of 3 sections.
3 the book is composed of 3 sections.

4 the book is comprised of 3 sections. (common but not formal)

Are all these correct? and mean the same thing?
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Approved answer (verified by )
The first three are all OK and mean the same thing. #4 is a common mistake.
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The sections comprise the whole, not the other way round.
1 is wrong
2 is correct
3 is correct
4 is wrong, wrong, wrong
AnonymousThe sections comprise the whole, not the other way round. 1 is wrong2 is correct3 is correct4 is wrong, wrong, wrong

Thank you for your help, Aonymous. Emotion: clap

But I don't think you're right here. I think it should be the whole comprises the sections/parts.

So I think my 1st sentence is correct.

Hi. Are these correct? Or perhaps it is correct to ask, "Which is correct among the choices given/noted?"

1. This educational facility consists of/comprises/is composed of twelve classrooms, two bathrooms for boys, two bathrooms for girls and two offices.

2. This book consists of/comprises/is composed of a workbook and an activity book.

3. This event is consists of/comprises/is composed of an (the?) opening ceremony, a (the?) main session and a (the?) closing ceremony.
From the American Heritage Dictionary:

Usage Note:

The traditional rule states that the whole comprises the parts and the parts compose the whole. In strict usage: The Union comprises 50 states. Fifty states compose (or constitute or make up) the Union. Even though careful writers often maintain this distinction, comprise is increasingly used in place of compose, especially in the passive: The Union is comprised of 50 states. Our surveys show that opposition to this usage is abating. In the 1960s, 53 percent of the Usage Panel found this usage unacceptable; in 1996, only 35 percent objected.
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