General Writing and Grammar Help/Made OF - made FROM


Dear Ted:

Do you say, "something is made OF....." or "something is made FROM....."?

If both are possible, do they mean the same thing?

If not, when should I use each of them?

Would you please give me some examples?

Many, many thanks for your kind help.

Happy Holidays,


Dear Paolo:

Do you say, "something is made OF....." or "something is made FROM....."?

If both are possible, do they mean the same thing?

*** They usually mean the same thing, but there is a difference in when to use each one.

From "The Cambridge Users' Dictionary" -- ‘Made from’ is often used to describe manufacturing processes . . . ‘Made of’ emphasises the inherent material or qualities of something, and has a meaning similar to ‘composed of’

If I were to ask what kind of material your shirt contains, you would tell me that it is MADE OUT OF COTTON AND SILK.  [Those are its two components.]

A log cabin is, obvious, MADE OUT OF logs.  You can say that the cabin is MADE FROM, because the logs are still logs.  They do not undergo any change.

However, a glass house is MADE FROM glass.  Glass does not appear naturally in nature, so, in order to produce glass for houses, the material must be manufactured.

Another example:  Steel is MADE FROM iron.

And another:  The skyscraper is MADE OF concrete, steel, and glass.

Here are two sites for further information.  The video is kind of "charming."

Note -- Some clever person claimed that "cotton candy" is both MADE OF and MADE FROM sugar.
There is no argument from me.

Happy Holidays, my friend.


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Ted Nesbitt


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.


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

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

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