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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 online now 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.

  4. #4
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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
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Default

    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.

    :)

  7. #7
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    Default

    :) :
    We have a "traditional" idea about these two phrases:

    be made of --> non-chemical change (only physical change)
    be made from --> chemical change

    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."
    The reason why native speakers use 'from' is because the slippers, unlike the tires, are not round in shape. They share different structure. That is, there's more to the definition than 'change', there's physical structure as well. That's why both 'of' and 'from' work well with 'silk dress'. :D There's been no chemical change (of) and no structural change (from). The threads are still threads.

    1. a chair made of wood. (no physical change)

    2. wine made from grapes. (physical change)

    Cas :D

    One should take into consideration the natural shape of a given object before determining whether to use 'of' or 'from'.

  8. #8
    jwschang Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee
    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.

    :)
    What do you think of this?

    Of = constituted
    From = constructed or derived.

  9. #9
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Default

    What do you think of this?

    Of = constituted
    From = constructed or derived.
    That looks good to me.

    Cas's explanation is quite good. She is quite right that there is no need to choose between the dress is made of silk and the dress was made from silk.

    (I can't believe I said "has is". :( )

    :wink:

  10. #10
    jwschang Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee
    (I can't believe I said "has is". :( )

    :wink:
    All it takes is a bit of faith. :)

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