Grammar Bite #12: Use of ‘comprise’

12 May 2011 

 

Can you spot the mistake in these sentences?

The series comprises of four funds.

This 1,084 sq. ft. duplex comprises of two bedrooms, a modern kitchen and a private roof.

The 12 members comprise the team.

 

Definition: comprise

‘Comprise’ has two primary meanings:

--to be made up of

--to include, contain or embrace

 

How to correct these mistakes

Let’s look at each of the three sentences above and find the problems with them.

 

Sentence 1The series comprises of four funds.

To check for the problem in this sentence, let’s replace ‘comprises’ with the definitions above.

The series is made up of of four funds.

The series includes of four funds.

 

See the mistake? It’s the word ‘of’.

 

There are two ways to correct this sentence:

1) Remove the word ‘of’: The series comprises four funds.

2) Use a different word: The series consists of four funds.

 

Sentence 2This 1,084 sq. ft. duplex comprises of two bedrooms, a modern kitchen and a private roof.

The problem with this sentence is the same as in sentence 1 – the unnecessary word ‘of’.

 

As with Sentence 1, you can correct this sentence in the same two ways:

1) Remove the word ‘of’: This 1,084 sq. ft duplex comprises two bedrooms, a modern kitchen and a private roof.

2) Use a different word: This 1,084 sq. ft. duplex includes two bedrooms, a modern kitchen and a private roof.

 

Sentence 3The 12 members comprise the team.

Again, we’ll replace the word ‘comprise’ with one of the definitions above.

The 12 members are made up of the team.

 

As you can see, that sentence doesn’t make sense. The individual members can’t possibly be made up of the team.

Remember: The whole comprises the parts – not the other way around.

 

There are two ways to correct this sentence.

1) Change the word order: The team comprises 12 members.

2) Use a different word: The 12 members compose the team.

 

Warning: Do NOT use ‘comprise’ in place of ‘compose’.


To see the other ‘Grammar Bites’ in this series, go to the Favourites page.



 

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