please check the following sentences are right. Thank you.

1. The USA comprises of 50 states.

2. The USA is comprised of 50 states.

3. The USA comprises 50 states. -----------I think, this has a different meaning from (1).

4. The committee is comprised of 8 members.
1 2

please check the following sentences are right. Thank you.

1. The USA comprises of 50 states. No.

2. The USA is comprised of 50 states. Yes.

3. The USA comprises 50 states. -----------I think, this has a different meaning from (1). No, it doesn't.

4. The committee is comprised of 8 members. Yes.

Best wishes, Clive
just want to confirm

'The USA compreses 50 states' is the same as 'The USA is comprised of 50 states '?

I was listening to a radio program which teaches English last night, and the host said that 'The USA is comprised of 50 states' is wrong. You American don't use a passive pattern in this case. Don't you?
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Hi again,

You're welcome.

Perhaps I'd better let an American answer that.Emotion: smile

thank you like always!!
This is a usage note from the dictionary.com entry

—Usage note Comprise has had an interesting history of sense development. In addition to its original senses, dating from the 15th century, “to include” and “to consist of” (The United States of America comprises 50 states), comprise has had since the late 18th century the meaning “to form or constitute” (Fifty states comprise the United States of America). Since the late 19th century it has also been used in passive constructions with a sense synonymous with that of one of its original meanings “to consist of, be composed of”: The United States of America is comprised of 50 states. These later uses are often criticized, but they occur with increasing frequency even in formal speech and writing.

And this is from Bartleby.com:

If you follow the traditional rule, you say that the whole comprises the parts and that the parts compose the whole. Thus you would say The Union comprises fifty states and Fifty states compose (or constitute or make up) the Union. While writers often maintain this distinction, comprise is increasingly used in place of compose, especially in the passive: The Union is comprised of fifty states. Don’t be surprised if this usage still elicits comments, however. In an earlier survey, a majority of the Usage Panel found this use of comprise unacceptable.

Sohere are still people like me know that "The commmittee comprises 8 people" is fine and don't object to "Eight people comprise the committee" but don't like "the committee is comprised of 8 people." Go figure.
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No, Clive is actually incorrect. The only correct usage of the word "comprise" in the examples given is No. 3.

See the dictionary definition:


  • S: (v) consist , comprise (be composed of) "The land he conquered comprised several provinces"; "What does this dish consist of?"
  • S: (v) incorporate , contain , comprise (include or contain; have as a component) "A totally new idea is comprised in this paper"; "The record contains many old songs from the 1930's"
  • S: (v) constitute , represent , make up , comprise, be (form or compose) "This money is my only income"; "The stone wall was the backdrop for the performance"; "These constitute my entire belonging"; "The children made up the chorus"; "This sum represents my entire income for a year"; "These few men comprise his entire army"
That being said, there is apparently a large percentage of the world's English-speaking population that insists on using this incorrectly, i.e. "comprised of," as in No. 2 and No. 4 above. It appears that the incorrect usage has become common vernacular, but it is still wrong -- since "comprise" means "to be composed of," saying "comprised of" is like saying "The commitee is composed of of 8 members." That is simply bad grammar. No. 3 is the correct usage.

I enjoyed reading your comment.

Let me just quote from my Canadian Oxford Paperback Dictionary on usage.

Such usages as The panel is comprised of five individuals . . . are strongly opposed by some . . . . The disputed uses are very common, however, and considered unobjectionable by many.

Apparently, you are part of the 'some' and I am part of the 'many'.Emotion: wink

Best wishes, Clive
Jisu983. The USA comprises 50 states
Sentence number three is the only one that is grammatically correct.
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