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  1. #1
    Ferdie11's Avatar
    Ferdie11 is offline Member
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    Default made from or made of

    Hi Guys,

    What's the difference between the below.


    The bag was made from dark blue fabric.

    The bag was made of dark blue fabric.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Ann1977 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: made from or made of

    I don't think there's much difference. I think the expressions could be used interchangeably -- even within the same paragraph -- without drawing any attention.

    I think there is a slight preference to use "made FROM" when the original material is largely unchanged:
    > The desk in the Oval Office was made from the timbers of the USS Champion.
    > Our applesauce is made from fresh-picked apples grown in our own orchards.
    > She made a book bag from a skirt that no longer fit.

    Possibly the expression "made OF" is preferred when the original material has been vastly altered:
    > Plastic bottles are made of long-chain organic molecules.
    > Happiness is made of many factors.

    "Made OUT of" may possibly be used to emphasize the fashioning process itself, rather than the nature of the materials, so it is perhaps used in both the case where the original material has been greatly altered as well as the case where it is largely unchanged:
    > Debrett makes his artwork out of items he finds by the side of the road.
    > I made this poetry out of my experiences in the war.


    But really there is almost no difference. I doubt anyone would ever notice the minuscule differences here:

    > Watermelon sherbet is made from watermelons and sugar.
    > Watermelon sherbet is made of watermelons and sugar.
    > Watermelon sherbet is made out of watermelons and sugar.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: made from or made of

    Hi guys, if you have usage problems like the one mentioned, do try "Practical English Usage" by Michale Swan. It really is such a wonderful book. (recommended to me by Tdol). I'm eternally grateful to him for that.

    Happy Learing!

    Cheers
    Udara

  4. #4
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    Default Re: made from or made of

    Quote Originally Posted by Ferdie11 View Post
    Hi Guys,

    What's the difference between the below.


    The bag was made from dark blue fabric.

    The bag was made of dark blue fabric.

    Thanks in advance.
    The bag was made of dark blue fabric.

    Since the fabric was not altered in any way, we say "made of dark blue fabric".

    If the material that is used to make something is changed or altered in some way, then we used "from". If the material remains unchanged, then we use "of". This is a guideline to follow. In native speaker communication, in my opinion, we may find that this guideline is not followed in a rigid way. It's a logical and good guideline, but not one that is consistently adhered to, as I see it.

    These chairs are made of wood. - The true form of wood as a material is not altered. It's cut, but it still looks like wood.

    These expensive handbags are made of leather. - The true form of the leather as material is not altered. It's cut and made into bags, but it's still recognizable as leather.

    Tequila is made from agave. - After the agave plant is used to make tequila, we cannot observe that tequila contains any element that appears to be that of an agave plant. The agave plant is altered in by the process used to make tequila.

    "tequila is made from" - Google Search

  5. #5
    Ann1977 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: made from or made of

    I think it's fascinating that your answer is the opposite of mine.

    Yet surely you would say
    "She made a book bag FROM a skirt that no longer fit."
    but not
    "She made a book bag OF a skirt that no longer fit."

    Yet in this case, very little has been altered beyond the relocation of some seams.

    What about "made up of"?

    > Plastic is made up of long-chain organic molecules.
    > A successful performance is made up of a large number of elements.

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