Writing for Business

Mar 20 2018   4:35PM GMT

Compose/Comprise – Which is correct?

Kaitlin Herbert Kaitlin Herbert Profile: Kaitlin Herbert


The AWS portfolio ______ more than 100 services, including those for compute, databases, infrastructure management, application development and security.

a. comprises
b. composes


Answer: A

Comprise means “is made up of” or “consists of.”

Compose means “make up” or “make.”

A good way to remember the difference:

The whole comprises the parts. The parts compose the whole.

5  Comments on this Post

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  • Lamarr385
    It is interesting and refreshing to see "comprise" and "compose" used in the active voice. It seems more common to use "is comprised of" and "is composed of".
    10 pointsBadges:
  • PinkHat

    110% sure
    10 pointsBadges:
  • MarkSteers
    You have just proven that B is the answer. Try putting "is made up" in the sentence above and it is utter nonsense whereas entering "make up" is perfect sense
    10 pointsBadges:
  • GeorgeSevere

    I agree. The explanation negates the awswer:

    Many (services) is/are made up of (one) portofolio?

    It doesn't make sense...

    10 pointsBadges:
  • Kaitlin Herbert
    You're correct! I've changed the sentence to reflect the correct answer. Thank you for your input!
    2,940 pointsBadges:

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