Comprise and Compose

Comprise and Compose

What’s the Difference?

Comprise is often misused for compose.

Comprise means “to be made up of.”


The plays comprises three acts.

The book comprises 250 pages.

Women comprise 44% of hospital medical staff.

Compose means “to form by putting together or to make up.”


The mansion is composed of many rooms.

She tried to compose her thoughts.

Please compose yourself.


5 thoughts on “Comprise and Compose”

  1. David L Maurer

    The sentence: “The mansion is composed of many rooms,” evokes thought. I presume that in using “comprised” it would be written: “The mansion comprises many rooms.” But as I consider it further, I might reach the conclusion that using “composed” as it is above is not correct. The mansion didn’t perform the composing. Maybe it should be: “The mansion is comprised of many rooms,” because the sentence describes what it is made up of.

    1. David – Thanks for pointing out how confusing this is.
      From Scribbr: The passive phrasing is composed of is correct and means the same thing as “comprises” on its own. The phrase “is comprised of” is a common mistake.

      Examples: Comprise in a sentence
      The university comprises a number of different campuses.

      Examples: Compose in a sentence
      The university is composed of a number of different campuses.

  2. Thank you David AND Nancy for the further explanation . Just another reason why the English language is so difficult to master.

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