Public Services and Procurement Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Institutional Links


Important notice

Writing Tips has been archived and won’t be updated before it is permanently deleted.

For the most up-to-date content, please consult Writing Tips Plus, which combines content from Writing Tips and The Canadian Style. And don’t forget to update your bookmarks!

To begin your search, go to the alphabetical index below and click on the first letter of the word you are searching for.

comprise, constitute, compose

Comprise means “consist of”:

  • The opera comprises five acts.

Constitute and compose mean “make up, account for, form”:

  • The population of Ontario constitutes over 35% of the population of Canada.
  • Five small communities together compose (make up) the city of Kanata.

Note that the preposition of is used with the past participle composed but not with comprised. Avoid the phrase is comprised of.

  • Matter is composed of units called atoms.
  • Water comprises (not is comprised of) hydrogen and oxygen.