학술논문, 교정, 번역, 워크숍 등에 대한 문의사항이나 궁금하신 점이 있으시면
언제라도 글을 남겨주세요.
CONSTITUTE (make up, form, be)
Constitute is another word that is similar in nature to compose. Constitute is used to say that several people or things make up something else. In one sense, it can mean equivalent to. With constitute, we must include a complete list of things that together make a whole; we cannot list just one part of a whole with this term. Note that like compose, the parts are listed first, followed by the whole.
Seven days constitute a week.
Seven days equal one week.
One day does not constitute a week.
Three teaspoons constitute a tablespoon.
CONTAIN (to hold or have inside; to include)
We commonly use "contain” to list the contents of a vessel, container, or document, or to list one or more ingredients or components of a mixture. With “contain”, the “whole” (document or container) is listed first, followed by the part(s). Like the word “include,” we may use contain to express just one part, many parts, or all parts of the whole. It is common to use contain with only one part when we want to emphasize that component.
Many fermented foods, such as yogurt and soy sauce, contain alcohol. (Alcohol is only one component of fermented foods and is singled out for emphasis.)
The Declaration of Independence contains the signature of John Hancock. (This sentence emphasizes one of the component parts, the signature of John Hancock.)
The Declaration of Independence contains the signatures of 56 patriots. (Here we understand that 56 is the total number of signatures, but besides the signatures, there are other components to the Declaration of Independence.)
CONSIST OF (to be made up of, or composed of)
Consist of follows the same pattern of usage as comprise or composed of in that the whole is listed first, followed by its parts. It is perhaps most commonly used when referring to people and things. Notice that the “be” verb is not used with “consist of” as the expression is not used in passive form.
(o) The adult human skeleton consists of more than 200 bones.
(o) The adult human skeleton comprises more than 200 bones.
(o) The adult human skeleton is composed of more than 200 bones. (passive)
(x) More than 200 bones are consisted of the adult human skeleton.
(x) The adult human skeleton is consisted of more than 200 bones.
(o) The U.S. Supreme Court consists of 1 Chief Justice and 8 Associate Justices.
INCLUDE (be part of the whole, meaning there may be other parts)
While “comprise” is used to describe the whole, “include” is used to list the parts. When there are many parts, we may use include to express just one part, many parts, or all parts of the whole. It is perhaps best to think of “include” to mean containing at least the listed part(s), and perhaps more.
(o) The lunch special includes a drink. (The drink is a part of the meal, but there are other things included.)
(o) The lunch special includes an entrée, 2 sides, and a drink. (This is probably the entirety of what is included.)
(x) The $1 drink special includes a drink. (When the whole is composed of only a single entity, we do not use “include”.)
(o) The conference registration fee includes a conference bag, the printed Program Book, and buffet lunches. (This is the minimum that will be included for the fee. Other things, such as coffee or snacks, may or may not be provided as well.)
The parts COMPOSE the whole.
The whole COMPRISES the parts.
Compose means to make something by putting things together. We use compose when we want to list the parts of a whole. With compose, we start with the list of components and end with the name of the whole. It may be helpful to think of a composer who starts with musical notes and creates a whole symphony.
- Two forwards, two guards, and a center compose a basketball team.
- Three rooms compose the ground floor; the upstairs is reached via the outside.
Note that it is extremely common to use compose in the passive – be composed of. In this case, the ordering is reversed, and we start with the name of the whole and end with the list of the parts.
- A basketball team is composed of two forwards, two guards, and a center.
- The ground floor is composed of three rooms: the kitchen, the living room, and the bathroom.
Comprise is a formal word that means “to be made up of”. Like compose, we use comprise to list the smaller parts of a whole. When using this word, we start with the whole concept and then list all of its component parts.
- A typical essay comprises an introduction, body, and conclusion.
- The conference comprises a three-day program with a key-note speaker, presentations, posters, and exhibitions.
Although it is increasingly common for “comprise” to be used in the passive (be comprised of), many grammarians reject this use. In formal writing, it is best not to convert “comprise” to the passive voice.
(o) A baseball team is composed of nine players.
(x) A baseball team is comprised of nine players.
(o) Scotland, England, Wales, and Northern Ireland compose the UK.
(o) The UK is composed of Scotland, England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
(o) The UK comprises Scotland, England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
What does "have something done" mean?
“Have something done” is a structure in English in which the subject of “have done” is not the agent (or “doer”) of the action. This is in contrast to usual active sentences in which the subject does the action.
a) The manager checked the figures.
b) The manager had the figures checked.
In a), the manager did the work of checking the figures. In b), the manager outsourced the work to someone else, perhaps an accountant.
In general, “have something done” not only removes agency, it implies that someone else was paid to do work. For example, “We had our picture taken” implies that a photographer was hired, not that someone did the work for free.
Here are some common examples:
The students had pizza delivered to the dormitory.
I have my clothes dry-cleaned at Sunshine Cleaners.
One final note is that in casual speech, we can substitute “get” for “have” with no change of meaning. However, “get” is less formal than “have,” so it is better to use the verb “have” when employing this expression in writing.
Where do you get your nails done?
Where do you have your nails done?
We hope you enjoyed this edition of Compecs Connection. See you next time!
When baking a cake, what do you call the uncooked combination of ingredients?
b. Cake Mix
The correct answer is a) batter.
In the United States, most residents have a full-sized oven in their home for preparing meals and desserts. It is therefore not unusual for Americans to bake their own cakes, pies, cookies, and bread products, rather than purchasing them at a bakery. Older Americans often cook “from scratch,” which means to use raw ingredients to prepare food. Others speed up the process by beginning with a mix, which is a box of correctly proportioned dry ingredients (such as flour, sugar, and leavening agents) to which wet ingredients (eggs, oil, water) are added before baking.
Some Koreans mistakenly call the prepared but uncooked material for all baked goods “dough.” In actuality, Americans use more specific terms for various baked and unbaked mixtures, as follows:
UNBAKED - BAKED, UNDECORATED
Batter - Cake, Cupcakes
Cookie dough - Cookies
Dough - Bread, Biscuits
Pie crust and filling - Pie, Tarts
Another interesting note is that the word “cake” is used for all baked cake batter, whether or not the cake has been frosted or decorated. Also, one serving of cake, bread, or pie is called a “slice” or a “piece.”
Would you like a piece of cake?
I’d like a slice of apple pie and a cup of coffee, please.
At Compecs Connection, we hope your day is sweet!
Which of these colloquial expressions means ‘go to bed’ in American English?
a) Hit the beach
b) Hit the books
c) Hit the hay
d) Take a hit
The correct answer is c) hit the hay.
a) Hit the beach means that a person is planning to leave to spend time at the beach. There are a few other casual expressions in which hit + location means ‘go to’ that location, including ‘hit the mall’ and ‘hit the gym.’
After work, I am going to hit the gym.
b) Hit the books means that someone is going to study.
I really have to hit the books this weekend or I may fail my test on Monday.
c) Hit the hay means go to bed.
I’m tired, so I guess I will hit the hay.
d) Take a hit is generally a reference to taking drugs. In sports, such as in football, it is used more literally when one player is tackled or hit by another player.
George took a hit of marijuana before giving his speech.
The football player took a hard hit and ended up in the hospital.
We hope today’s lesson on Compecs Connection was a hit.
Which TWO of these expressions mean “easy”?
a) Like water off a duck’s back
b) It’s a piece of cake
c) It’s a walk in the park
Both b) and c) are used to express that something is easy to do.
I don’t know why everyone is complaining; this assignment is a piece of cake.
The marketing project was a walk in the park, and I finished within the hour.
a) “Like water off a duck’s back” is used to express that a person is unperturbed by something.
The boss’s words were harsh, but John seemed unaffected, like water off a duck’s back.
At Compecs Connection, we hope your next challenge is a piece of cake.
Which is the best expression to sum up this context?
Mrs. Chen is having trouble understanding the iPhone update.
a) If the shoe fits, wear it.
b) She can’t see the forest for the trees.
c) You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
The correct answer is c). “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” means that it can be difficult to teach someone how to do things differently if they have been doing things in the same way over a period of time. It implies that the person may be stubborn about changing old habits or unable to understand new ways of doing things. The oldest written record of this expression is in John Fitzherbert’s The boke of husbandry, 1534 (https://www.theidioms.com/you-cant-teach-an-old-dog-new-tricks/).
a) is used to suggest to someone that a label, remark or criticism applies to them. It is usually used in a negative context and said directly to the person being criticized. In the sample sentence, Mrs. Chen is being talked about in 3rd person, not spoken to directly, so this expression would not be used. A typical context would be:
DaYoung: Soo, did you take that from my desk?
Soo: Are you calling me a thief?
DaYoung: If the shoe fits, wear it.
It is assumed that the phrase was influenced by the Cinderella story, a fairy tale in which Cinderella becomes a princess because the shoe fits (https://grammarist.com/idiom/if-the-shoe-fits-and-if-the-cap-fits/).
b) is used when someone is so focused on small details that they miss the big picture. In the sample sentence, we don’t know why Mrs. Chen doesn’t understand the iPhone update, but there is nothing to suggest that she is hyper-focused on details.
The finance manager was only concerned with Monday’s poor sales figures, but the entire quarterly budget was in shambles. He couldn’t see the forest for the trees.
This expression appears in a Renaissance proverb collection written by Heywood, published in London in 1546 (https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/can%27t+see+the+forest+for+the+trees).