Prepositions with make: “made of”, “made from”
To talk about types of material or to say what something consists of, we often use is made, which is the passive form of make.
There are a few different prepositions commonly used after is made, each expressing something slightly different.
First, let’s look at the difference between of and from, i.e. is made of versus is made from.
We use made of to speak about material:
- Lego is made of plastic.
- All of their furniture is made of oak.
We usually use made from to explain that a material is created by modifying another material:
- Glass is made from sand.
Glass is made of sand.
- Paper is made from wood.
Paper is made of wood.
- The exhibition had miniature cars and buses made entirely out of chocolate.
- All the exhibits were made out of ice.
- She always makes her soups with lots of pepper and spices.
- It’s best to make drinking chocolate with full-fat milk.
- Phrasal verbs are made up of verbs and adverbs.
- Our presentation today is made up of three sections: ‘Company History’, ‘Today’, and ‘Our Future’.
Other prepositions after is made
You may have heard someone say that something is made out of something. We say this when we want to draw attention to the manufacturing process of something. It’s common when speaking about art exhibitions, for instance:
Made of is also possible in the two examples above.
Here are some hands made out of paper – making planes out of paper.
When speaking about cooking ingredients and our favourite recipes, we usually say that something is made with that ingredient:
Finally, there is made up of, which means consist of:
What if I use the wrong preposition?
As you can see, the differences are sometimes very subtle. The good news is that if you use the wrong preposition after is made, people will still usually understand you. And as I mentioned above, in some cases the prepositions are interchangeable.
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