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Compose vs. Comprise: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Published on November 23, 2023
"Compose" means to form by putting together parts or elements, while "comprise" means to consist of or include; "compose" is active, "comprise" is passive.

Key Differences

"Compose" is used when referring to the act of creating or forming something from various parts, whereas "comprise" indicates what is contained within something.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 23, 2023
When using "compose," the parts typically come after the verb, as in "The committee is composed of members." In contrast, with "comprise," the whole comes first, as in "The committee comprises members."
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 23, 2023
"Compose" is often followed by "of," for example, "A team composed of experts." On the other hand, "comprise" is direct, like in "The team comprises experts."
Huma Saeed
Nov 23, 2023
"Compose" leans towards an active construction, implying the action of putting together, while "comprise" is more passive, suggesting a state of including or containing.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 23, 2023
A common error is using "comprised of," which is incorrect. "Composed of" is the correct form. "Comprise" should be used as is, without "of."
Aimie Carlson
Nov 23, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Meaning

To form by assembling parts
To consist of, to include
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 23, 2023

Usage

Active, involves creation
Passive, describes what is included
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 23, 2023

Grammatical Structure

Typically followed by "of"
Used directly without "of"
Huma Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

Sentence Example

"The album was composed by the artist."
"The album comprises ten tracks."
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 23, 2023

Common Error

Correct: "composed of"
Incorrect: "comprised of"
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 23, 2023
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Compose and Comprise Definitions

Compose

To create or form by putting together parts or elements.
She composed a beautiful symphony.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 15, 2023

Comprise

To consist of; to be made up of.
The committee comprises five members.
Huma Saeed
Nov 15, 2023

Compose

To calm or settle, as in composing one's thoughts.
He composed himself before the speech.
Janet White
Nov 15, 2023

Comprise

To include, contain, or encompass.
The course comprises various subjects.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 15, 2023

Compose

To create a written or musical work.
She composed a poem for the occasion.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 15, 2023

Comprise

To embody or represent as a part.
The collection comprises rare artifacts.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 15, 2023

Compose

To be or constitute a part or element of.
Water is composed of hydrogen and oxygen.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 15, 2023

Comprise

To be an essential part in forming something.
Integrity comprises a key part of their values.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 15, 2023

Compose

To arrange aesthetically or artistically.
The photographer composed the shot meticulously.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 15, 2023

Comprise

To form or constitute.
The book comprises three parts.
Janet White
Nov 15, 2023

Compose

To make up the constituent parts of; constitute or form
An exhibit composed of French paintings.
The many ethnic groups that compose our nation. See Usage Note at comprise.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 13, 2023

Comprise

To be composed of or contain
The staff comprises eight physicians, two dozen nurses, and various administrative people.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 13, 2023

Compose

To make or create by putting together parts or elements.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 13, 2023

Comprise

Usage Problem To compose; make up; constitute
The countries and territories that comprised the British Empire.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 13, 2023

Comprise

(transitive) To be made up of; to consist of (especially a comprehensive list of parts).
The whole comprises the parts.
The parts are comprised by the whole.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 13, 2023

FAQs

Can "compose" and "comprise" be used interchangeably?

No, they have different meanings and grammatical uses.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 23, 2023

Is "comprised of" correct?

No, "comprised of" is incorrect. Use "composed of" or "comprises."
Huma Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

Can "comprise" be followed by "of"?

No, "comprise" should not be followed by "of."
Janet White
Nov 23, 2023

What does "comprise" indicate in a sentence?

It indicates what elements are included in the whole.
Harlon Moss
Nov 23, 2023

Can a single element "compose" a whole?

No, "compose" implies multiple elements forming a whole.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 23, 2023

What does it mean to compose music?

It means to create or write music.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 23, 2023

Is "compose" only used in music and writing?

No, it can also refer to creating or forming anything from parts.
Harlon Moss
Nov 23, 2023

Is "compose" formal or informal?

It can be used in both formal and informal contexts.
Janet White
Nov 23, 2023

Is "comprise" a common verb?

Yes, it's commonly used in formal and descriptive contexts.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 23, 2023

Does "comprise" always start a sentence?

No, but it often leads in a sentence to describe the whole.
Harlon Moss
Nov 23, 2023

Can "comprise" be used in past tense?

Yes, like "The book comprised three sections."
Aimie Carlson
Nov 23, 2023

Is "composed of" used for physical or abstract things?

It can be used for both, like "composed of elements" or "ideas."
Janet White
Nov 23, 2023

Can "comprise" be used for hypotheticals?

Yes, it can describe components of a hypothetical whole.
Janet White
Nov 23, 2023

Can "compose" be used in a psychological context?

Yes, like in "composing oneself" which means to become calm.
Harlon Moss
Nov 23, 2023

Does "comprise" imply a total sum?

Yes, it refers to everything that constitutes a whole.
Harlon Moss
Nov 23, 2023

Is it correct to say "a team comprising of players"?

No, the correct phrase is "a team comprising players."
Aimie Carlson
Nov 23, 2023

Is "compose" a synonym for "create"?

Yes, in the context of creating art, music, or literature.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 23, 2023

Is "composing a letter" a correct usage?

Yes, it means to write a letter.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 23, 2023

Can "compose" mean to settle emotionally?

Yes, as in calming oneself or gaining composure.
Harlon Moss
Nov 23, 2023

Can "comprise" refer to an incomplete set?

No, it refers to all parts that make up the whole.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 23, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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