After I lovingly explained the difference between â€œwhoâ€ and â€œwhom,â€ one dear reader caught onto the fact that I’ve been on a one-woman crusade to purify our world of all your terrible grammar. The person I know only as â€œFabian Knockwurstâ€ came to me with a request to â€œdo to comprise next,â€ and I am happy to oblige.
This is an especially good one to cover because the incorrect use of â€œcompriseâ€ is now so common that it’s probably this close to becoming an accepted use. So let’s consider this a grammatical Hail Mary pass ” one last-ditch effort to get you guys using the word you actually mean. Which is: â€œcompose.â€
â€œCompriseâ€ is a verb that means â€œto consist of,â€ â€œbe made up ofâ€ or â€œbe composed of.â€ To check whether you’re using it correctly, swap out â€œcomprisesâ€ for â€œconsists ofâ€ or â€œincludes.â€
Example: The team comprises players of all skill levels. (The team consists of players of all skill levels.)
The team is not, however, comprised of players of all skill levels. No, the team is composed of players of all skill levels. Compose is a verb that means â€œto make up.â€ I know, I know; so close. But not the same. The pieces compose the whole; the whole comprises the pieces.
Look, if all else fails, just remember that the phrase â€œcomprised ofâ€ will never be correct. Grammar Girl puts it this way:
Just as you can’t say, â€œThe house includes of seven rooms,â€ you can’t say, â€œThe house is comprised of seven rooms.â€ You have to say, â€œThe house comprises seven rooms.â€
Or just stick with â€œis made up of.â€ I won’t judge.