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  1. #1
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    Default constituent vs component

    What's the difference between "constituent" and "component"? Especially in the following sentence, where "components" is the valid answer:
    He works for a company which makes some of the electrical .... of Concorde.
    a. constituents b. ingredients c. components d. elements
    Cheers

  2. #2
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: constituent vs component

    Quote Originally Posted by micaelo View Post
    What's the difference between "constituent" and "component"? Especially in the following sentence, where "components" is the valid answer:
    He works for a company which makes some of the electrical .... of Concorde.
    a. constituents b. ingredients c. components d. elements
    Cheers

    Very little, except that in manufacturing processes "components" are the individual small pieces that are put together to make the final product.

  3. #3
    Noego is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: constituent vs component

    Wow, sometimes I'm really astounded to see what kind of questions they ask in tests. Seems like they're setting up traps more than they actually test a broader understanding of the language.

    I mean what's the point of such a detailed question? They really have to find new ways to evaluate people's level of English .

  4. #4
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    Default Re: constituent vs component

    Quote Originally Posted by micaelo View Post
    What's the difference between "constituent" and "component"? Especially in the following sentence, where "components" is the valid answer:
    He works for a company which makes some of the electrical .... of Concorde.
    a. constituents b. ingredients c. components d. elements
    Cheers
    Basically, components are put together, constituents are natural to the object.

    If you make something, you make it from components. The substances found in wine, for example, are constituents.


    Quote Originally Posted by Noego
    Wow, sometimes I'm really astounded to see what kind of questions they ask in tests. Seems like they're setting up traps more than they actually test a broader understanding of the language.

    I mean what's the point of such a detailed question? They really have to find new ways to evaluate people's level of English .
    They are not trapping you, they are checking your understanding of vocabulary - quite a good way to evaluate your level.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: constituent vs component

    I agree with Andrew on this. Vocabulary:

    component: com- (together). Cf. composite, to put together, it's an added part of something, whereas constituent, from constitute (made up, formed), is an integral part of something. Thus - and I suspect the reason behind micaelo's question - a component can be described as a constituent part.

    All the best.

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