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Composed vs Comprised


  • ‘Composed’ (verb - past participle) means ‘be made up/constituted (of something)’.
  • ‘Comprised’ (verb - past tense) means ‘included/contained/incorporated’.

What’s the difference between ‘composed’ and ‘comprised’?

These two words are very tricky to differentiate, and are very frequently misused.

  • As the past participle of the verb ‘compose’, ‘composed’ is usually followed by the preposition ‘of’ and is a synonym for ‘made up’. It is used to introduce the parts that a whole contains.
  • ‘Comprised’ is the past tense of the verb ‘comprise’ and is also used to introduce the parts included in a whole. The difference is that it isn’t used in the same way as ‘composed’ in a sentence.
  • For instance, you could either say that a house is composed of five rooms or comprises five rooms. You could not say it is comprised of five rooms.

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How they’re used

Example sentences with ‘composed’

  • The rocks were found to be composed of volcanic fragments.
  • The biosensors were composed of nanowires.

Example sentences with ‘comprised’

  • Microvascular oxygen pressures in muscles comprised various fiber types.
  • The superhydrophobic surface comprised a polyurethane elastomer.