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Difference between comprised of or consists of

comprised of or consists of

In the English language, the phrases “comprised of” and “consists of” are often used to describe the components or elements that make up a whole. However, these phrases have nuanced differences in their usage and implications, making it important to understand their specific applications and contexts.

Quick Facts Table

FeatureComprised OfConsists Of
Primary UsageDescribing a whole made up of partsDescribing what something is made from
Grammar RolePart of a passive voice structureUsed in active voice sentences
PrevalenceMore formal, less commonMore commonly used
Example SentenceThe team is comprised of experts in various fields.The salad consists of vegetables, nuts, and fruits.

Difference Between “Comprised Of” and “Consists Of”

Definition of Comprised Of

"Comprised of" is often used to convey that a whole encompasses or includes various parts or elements. This phrase is typically found in more formal contexts and suggests a composition of different components that collectively form a unit or structure.

Definition of Consists Of

"Consists of" directly states the elements or parts that make up a whole. It is straightforward and explicitly enumerates the components that form something, making it clear what constitutes the subject in question.

Origin of Comprised Of

The phrase “comprised of” has its origins in the mid-15th century, derived from the French word “comprendre,” which means to contain or comprise. It implies a sense of inclusion or encompassment of parts within a whole.

Origin of Consists Of

“Consists of” comes from the Latin word “consistere,” meaning to stand together or be composed of. It has been used in English since the late 16th century to specify the makeup of something through its components.


  • Comprised Of: /kəmˈpraɪzd ʌv/
  • Consists Of: /kənˈsɪsts ʌv/

Comparing Comprised Of and Consists Of

When comparing “comprised of” and “consists of,” it’s essential to recognize that “comprised of” is more commonly utilized in a passive construction, suggesting a broader, more encompassing relationship. In contrast, “consists of” is preferred for its clarity and directness in specifying the elements that form a whole.

Comparison Table

AspectComprised OfConsists Of
FormalityMore formalLess formal, more straightforward
Usage FrequencyLess frequentMore frequent
ImplicationBroad encompassmentDirect specification
VoiceOften passiveActive

Usage in Sentences with Explanations

Use of Comprised Of in Sentences

  1. The committee is comprised of members from different departments.
    • Shows various department members making up the committee.
  2. The book collection is comprised of novels, biographies, and poetry.
    • Indicates the types of books included in the collection.
  3. The course curriculum is comprised of lectures, seminars, and workshops.
    • Lists the components that make up the curriculum.
  4. The museum exhibition is comprised of artifacts from the ancient world.
    • Specifies that the exhibition includes various ancient artifacts.
  5. The portfolio is comprised of stocks, bonds, and real estate investments.
    • Describes the different investment types within the portfolio.

Use of Consists Of in Sentences

  1. The salad consists of lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers.
    • Directly lists the ingredients of the salad.
  2. The team consists of engineers, designers, and marketers.
    • Clarifies the professional makeup of the team.
  3. The program consists of three main phases: planning, execution, and evaluation.
    • Details the stages that form the program.
  4. The diet consists of whole foods, excluding processed items.
    • Specifies what the diet includes and excludes.
  5. The festival consists of music performances, art displays, and food stalls.
    • Enumerates the elements that make up the festival.


Understanding the difference between “comprised of” and “consists of” is crucial for effective communication. While “comprised of” suggests a more formal tone and a broad inclusion of parts, “consists of” is straightforward, specifying the exact components of a whole. Knowing when to use each phrase can enhance clarity and precision in language.

Commonly Asked Questions

  • What is the more formal phrase between “comprised of” and “consists of”?
    • “Comprised of” is considered more formal.
  • Can “comprised of” and “consists of” be used interchangeably?
    • While they can sometimes be used interchangeably, it’s essential to consider the context and the desired formality level.
  • Is “consists of” better for specifying the components of a whole?
    • Yes, “consists of” is more direct and clear for specifying components.
Jessica Smith

Jessica Smith

Jessica Smith, writer at, blends creativity with insight, exploring technology, culture, and psychology. With a background in English Literature, she crafts engaging stories inspired by nature and urban life. Outside writing, she enjoys exploring and continuous learning.View Author posts

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