English Level: Strong Pre-Intermediate and up

I received a question from a student about the difference between “made of” and “made from.” I love this question because Japanese English-learners usually say “made from” when the verb “make” should be matched with other prepositions.

The person listening would understand what you mean when you use the wrong preposition, and usually native English speakers mix them up too, but it’s fun to learn proper English as well.

Made from

This is most commonly used for manufactured items.

  • The PET bottles were made from recycled plastics.
  • The semiconductor is made from copper wiring.

Made of

We use this one for objects that are made of basic and simple materials. There are no changes in the materials.

  • This shirt is made of cotton.
  • This ring is made of gold.

Made with

Most commonly used to describe food and drinks, it is used for things that are mixed together. Also, you can…?

  • This pasta dish is made with tomatoes and onions.
  • This ring is made with plastic and glue
  • Tonight’s dinner is made with love.

Made out of

This is used when an object is made out of one thing or we want to bring the listeners attention to that material.

  • The toys floated on the water because they were made out of plastic.
  • American cars were made out of heavy metal so they couldn’t go as fast.
  • The statue is made out of expensive marble.

Those are the rules. Confusing, right? But again, native English speakers mix them up a lot, not knowing the difference. And sometimes more than one answer is acceptable. If you find it stressful to use them, don’t worry about it and just take your time. Learning English, like learning anything else, should be fun.

If you have any questions about this blog, please contact us using the comment section on the bottom. Or if you any questions about English in general, contact Connect 英会話 on our contact page. Keep up the good work, guys! See you in class.

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