General Writing and Grammar Help/Made of, made up of

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Question
Dear Ted:

Are the following sentences correct and natural?

1) A shoe is MADE OF many components.

2) A shoe is MADE UP OF many components.

3) A shoe is MADE FROM many components.

If all three are possible, do they have the same meaning?

If not, when should I use each of them?

As Always, many, many thanks for your kind help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

Are the following sentences correct and natural?

1) A shoe is MADE OF many components.

2) A shoe is MADE UP OF many components.

3) A shoe is MADE FROM many components.

If all three are possible, do they have the same meaning?

If not, when should I use each of them?

*** 1 and 2 are virtually identical.  Some people add the preposition "up," but it is not necessary.  I would call using "up" a "dialectical" choice.

#3 is slightly different, but it means the same as the first two options.  The use of the preposition "from" makes the sentence sound more "actual."  By that, I mean there is a sense of "nearness" that the first two do not really have.

Let me explain with an example:

You are going to bake a cake, and you want to share the recipe with a friend.  You can begin your instructions with saying, "Here are the ingredients we need for the cake.  It is made up of [OR made of] the following:  flour, eggs, sugar, spices, etc."

You are on a television show, and your responsibility is to explain how to make a cake.
You are speaking to an audience that is not present on the TV set.  You begin by saying, "First, we must assemble all the ingredients we need for the cake.  This cake is MADE FROM flour [and you point to the flour], eggs [point to the eggs], sugar [and you point to the sugar]."  For each ingredient, you say FROM and point to it.

The difference between #3 and the other two is practically unnoticeable.  However, if I have the components in front of me and can point to them, I would use the structure of #3.

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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