Watch Your Language

Are you about to use the word comprise? Think twice. Most people misuse it to mean composed of or made up of, which it kind of does in a very roundabout way, but not like you think.

is an active verb.

A football team comprises 11 players.

My family comprises four people.

A pie comprises crust, a filling and maybe a topping.

The band comprised four players.

Always, the whole comprises its parts.

You see?

It's true that a whole thing is also made up of or composed of its parts. But it isn't comprised of its parts. It comprises its parts - a subtle but crucial difference.


  1. You should do one of these for "that" vs "which" and "effect" vs "affect."