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  1. #1
    simile is offline Junior Member
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    Default "be made of" & "be made from"?

    What's the difference between "be made of" and "be made from"?

    Right :D or wrong :( ?
    Please mark in front of the sentences below with emoticons.
    :D for right; :( for wrong.
    ----------------------------------------
    The slipper is made of a tire.
    The slipper is made from a tire.
    ----------------------------------------
    These customes are made of animal skins.
    These customes are made from animal skins.
    -----------------------------------------------------
    This special dress is made of silk.
    This special dress is made from silk.
    -----------------------------------------------------
    The beads were made of hardened yellow pine sap.
    The beads were made from hardened yellow pine sap.
    -----------------------------------------------------
    The box is made of gold.
    The box is made from gold.
    -----------------------------------------------------

    And also,
    could anyone offer more ambiguous sentences using "be made of" or "be made from"?

  2. #2
    Red5 is offline Webmaster, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: "be made of" & "be made from"?

    Quote Originally Posted by simile
    ----------------------------------------
    :( The slipper is made of a tire.
    :) The slipper is made from a tire.
    ----------------------------------------
    :) These costumes are made of animal skins.
    :) These costumes are made from animal skins.
    -----------------------------------------------------
    :) This special dress is made of silk.
    :) This special dress is made from silk.
    -----------------------------------------------------
    :) The beads were made of hardened yellow pine sap.
    :) The beads were made from hardened yellow pine sap.
    -----------------------------------------------------
    :) The box is made of gold.
    :) The box is made from gold.
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Red5
    Webmaster, UsingEnglish.com

  3. #3
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Default

    If I say a dress is made of silk I mean the dress is silk. If I say the dress was made from silk I mean that silk was used to make it. In the second instance, it is possible (tho not likely) that it is not a silk dress.

    There has been a discussion about this before. I will see if I can find it.

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    Default Re: "be made of" & "be made from"?

    This is a lot of fun! I can tell by the way in which you've ordered your sentences that there is a definite logic going on here. Thanks for the mental gymnastics. :D

    ----------------------------------------
    :( The slipper is made of a tire.
    The slipper belonged to / used to be part of the tire.

    :D The slipper is made from a tire.
    The slipper was constructed out of tire material.
    ----------------------------------------
    :( These customes are made of animal skins.
    The costumes belonged / used to be part of the animal skins.

    :D These customes are made from animal skins.
    The costumes were constructed out of animal skins.
    -----------------------------------------------------
    :D This special dress is made of silk.
    The silk threads belonged to / used to be part of the silk.

    Note, 'dress' refers to 'threads'.

    :D This special dress is made from silk.
    The dress was constructed out of silk.
    -----------------------------------------------------
    :( The beads were made of hardened yellow pine sap.
    The beads belonged to / were part of the pine sap.

    Note, hardened tree sap is not round or molded like the shape of the beads. It's the shape that was not part of / did not belong to the tree sap.

    :D The beads were made from hardened yellow pine sap.
    The beads were constructed out of pine sap.
    -----------------------------------------------------
    :D The box is made of gold.
    The box is gold = gold box; The dress is silk =silk dress

    Note, the slippers are tire The beads are sap *problem

    :D The box is made from gold.
    The box is constructed out of gold.
    -----------------------------------------------------
    could anyone offer more ambiguous sentences using "be made of" or "be made from"?

    :D My house is made of wood.
    The boards of my house used to be / were part of trees.

    :D My house is made from wood.
    The boards of my house were constructed out of trees.

    :D Heart of stone.
    Heart used to be / is part of a stone.

    :D Heart from stone.
    The heart was constructed out of stone.

    Cas :D

  5. #5
    simile is offline Junior Member
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee
    If I say a dress is made of silk I mean the dress is silk. If I say the dress was made from silk I mean that silk was used to make it. In the second instance, it is possible (tho not likely) that it is not a silk dress.

    There has been a discussion about this before. I will see if I can find it.
    We have a "traditional" idea about these two phrases:
    be made of --> non-chemical change (only physical change)
    be made from --> chemical change
    (Do you agree?)
    This concept has been very popular and widely taught here in Taiwan.
    But a teacher here argued that this is not proper!
    He is the chief editor of the Time Express magazine, which is a bilingual version for Time magazine.
    And he also got a full score of TOEFL.
    ==============================================
    He said that it's the problem of "direct" or "indirect."
    ex: These shoes were made ___ rubber tires.
    In Taiwan's grammar reference books, this sentence will be interpreted
    as a "non-chemical" change in the relationship between shoes and rubber tires.
    Therefore, those books just give the answer "of."
    But native speakers would say "These shoes were made from rubber tires."
    If the saying of chemical and non-chemical change stands, then this sentence would be an exception, which implies a bad grammar!
    (A good grammar should be a universal one.)
    So it's not the problem of chemical change or physical change!
    It's the problem of "more direct" or "not so direct."
    Ex:
    1. a chair made of wood --> more direct --> direct!
    You can still see the wood.
    2. wine made from grapes --> not so direct --> indirect!
    You cannot see the grapes anymore!
    (Above is my rephrasing his ideas, not his original article.)
    =============================================
    So I've got a little confused here by your version of answers.
    Any further explanation?
    Last edited by simile; 21-Oct-2009 at 15:32.

  6. #6
    Voskresenie is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: "be made of" & "be made from"?

    And what about phrases given in a dictionary

    The table is made of stone.
    and
    The canoe is made from an impermeable wood.
    ???????

  7. #7
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: "be made of" & "be made from"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Voskresenie View Post
    And what about phrases given in a dictionary

    The table is made of stone.
    and
    The canoe is made from an impermeable wood.
    ???????
    I thought Tdol had had the last word, with the chair/grapes thing, ; but this looks like a counterexample; try this:

    of marks a constituent, and is in effect an elided form of 'out of'.

    from denotes a process. In making the canoe (out of wood) the process involved using a particular sort of wood.

    b

    PS couldn't resist this childhood memory, prompted by Cas's request:
    could anyone offer more ambiguous sentences using "be made of" or "be made from"?
    Q What was Joan of Arc /meɪd/ of?
    A Orleans

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    Default Re: "be made of" & "be made from"?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    of marks a constituent, and is in effect an elided form of 'out of'.

    from denotes a process. In making the canoe (out of wood) the process involved using a particular sort of wood.
    Hey everyone,
    I'm not sure if anyone is still following this discussion, but I think I may have something interesting to add to it and would really appreciate any feedback.
    I'm not 100% sure I'm right, but I can't see any holes in the argument.
    First of all, I think the difference is as stated above:
    of = constituent/material/ingredient used to make something
    from = process

    Here's the interesting part:
    In order to support the "of=constituent" and "from=process" hypothesis, if we look at how changing verb tenses affects the meaning, the difference becomes pretty clear:
    For cases with 'made from', the meaning only changes slightly. The change has to do with the point in time from which you are viewing the process.
    Ex. 1: Present tense (made from)
    That window is made from bullet proof glass.
    [meaning: Whenever a window of that type is made, bullet proof glass is used to make it.]

    Ex. 2: Past tense (made from)
    That window was made from bullet proof glass.
    [meaning: When that particular window was made, bullet proof glass was used
    to make it.]

    Ex. 3: Present tense (made of)
    That window is made of bullet proof glass.
    [meaning: The material used to make that window is bullet proof glass.]

    Ex. 4: Past tense (made of)
    That window was made of bullet proof glass.
    [meaning: the window has changed state. Either 1. the window has changed structurally (most likely it was broken or had a hole or holes shot in it). This type of statement would normally be followed by something like: How did it break? How did a bullet get through it? 2. The window has undergone some kind of chemical change. In this case, the above statement means That window is no longer made of bullet proof glass. OR The nature of the bullet proof glass has changed to something else, i.e. it is no longer bullet proof glass. ]

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    Smile Re: "be made of" & "be made from"?

    Quote Originally Posted by simile View Post
    We have a "traditional" idea about these two phrases:
    be made of --> non-chemical change (only physical change)
    be made from --> chemical change
    (Do you agree?)
    This concept has been very popular and widely taught here in Taiwan.
    But a teacher here augued that this is not proper!
    He is the chief editor of the Time Express magazine, which is a bilingual version for Time magazine.
    And he also got a full score of TOEFL.
    ==============================================
    He said that it's the problem of "direct" or "indirect."
    ex: These shoes were made ___ rubber tires.
    In Taiwan's grammar reference books, this sentence will be interpreted
    as a "non-chemical" change in the relationship between shoes and rubber tires.
    Therefore, those books just give the answer "of."
    But native speakers would say "These shoes were made from rubber tires."
    If the saying of chemical and non-chemical change stands, then this sentence would be an exception, which implies a bad grammar!
    (A good grammar should be a universal one.)
    So it's not the problem of chemical change or physical change!
    It's the problem of "more direct" or "not so direct."
    Ex:
    1. a chair made of wood --> more direct --> direct!
    You can still see the wood.
    2. wine made from grapes --> not so direct --> indirect!
    You cannot see the grapes anymore!
    (Above is my rephrasing his ideas, not his original article.)
    =============================================
    So I've got a little confused here by your version of answers.
    Any further explanation?

    Students in China mainland also have the very same traditional idea about that.

  10. #10
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Let me look at your examples.

    • 1. a chair made of wood --> more direct --> direct!
      You can still see the wood.
      2. wine made from grapes --> not so direct --> indirect!
      You cannot see the grapes anymore!


    I agree in both cases. A wooden chair has is made of wood. The wood is still wood. Wine is not made of grapes but from grapes. The grapes no longer exist.

    I would also say, "These shoes were made from rubber tires" just like native Taiwanese. Those shoes are not rubber tires. Thus, they are not made of rubber tires, but they were made from rubber tires.

    :)

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