Charis for Writing Lesson 58: COMPRISE/ COMPRISE OF

This lesson is dubbed Problem Preposition II because our last lesson ‘IMPACT or IMPACT ON’ is now considered as our first in the series of problem prepositions. Our next lesson shall be on EMPHASISE ON. You are warmly welcome.  We will also like to thank all our readers for the likes and the comments. We are much encouraged and honoured to be part of making your “English lives’ better!

Today, we are looking at the combination of the word ‘comprise’ with the preposition ‘of’ and why it could be highly problematic. As usual, let’s begin with a dictionary definition.

Comprise: to be made up of something, to include something or to make up or form.

The synonym is ‘consist of’. But unlike ‘consist’ which usually goes with ‘of’‘; comprise’ already has the preposition ‘of’ embedded in it and so does not need it to be repeated. So for example:

This test consists of reading, speaking and grammar exercises.   CORRECT 

This test comprises reading, speaking and grammar exercises.    CORRECT

This test comprises of reading, speaking and grammar exercises.    INCORRECT

If we were to add ‘of’ again to comprises, it would look like:

*This test consists of of reading, speaking and grammar exercises.*

Now you see how weird and incorrect that is. So, to say something comprises of something is incorrect. However, it may be correct to say something is comprised of something.

About 10% of Ghana’s Parliament is comprised of women.  (Women comprise about 10 percent)

But this of is only accepted in this structure: To be (is/am/were/was/will be) + comprised + of

Even this second form is not accepted by some who prefer synonyms like “composed of”. I believe this is the source of confusion with this verb. But from today, you are free from such errors.

We hope this lesson was useful. Catch us next week for another interesting lesson. Kindly contact us to do any proofreading or editorial work for you. If you have plans of publishing a book, we could help you out too. We also do designs and draft proposals and business plans. That’s us!!!

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