Much of learning to be a more natural and fluent speaker is being able to describe the world around us.

When we give hand-crafted gifts, for example, we often might want to tell those who receive the gift where it was made, or what materials were used to put it together.

We might be excited about a new eco-friendly product like a shirt or a house cleaner, but we have a hard time choosing whether to say it was made of, from or out of something.

Or perhaps we’re talking about some food, like butter for instance. Is it made from milk or made of milk?

If you’ve ever found yourself wondering what the right words to use are, read on below!

Made In

When we use these words, we are normally describing the location that something was made in. This is because it proves some sort of value or has some sort of special significance.

For example:

  • This chocolate was made in Switzerland.
  • This wine was made in France.
  • This Ao dai was made in Vietnam.

Made of

When we talk about an object that consists of a material that has not be changed in any way, we can use made of.

For example:

The bowl is made of glass. Now, the form has changed and so as its function but it's still one hundred per cent glass.

Made from

We use this if the object we’re describing and the materials that went into making it are significantly changed in the process of making the object.

For example: 

  • Paper is made from trees. (The paper is no longer a tree, of course, so we cannot say made of.)
  • Cheese and butter are made from milk. (Milk as we know it is a liquid that we can drink. Cheese and butter are usually solids that cannot be drank. Therefore the milk was significantly changed in the process.)

Made out of

When we talk about something that was taken from one form and changed to another, then we can use made out of.

For example:

This candle holder is made out of a wine bottle. (In this case, the wine bottle has been transformed to be used for something else, a candle holder.)

You’re now armed with some new weapons to use "made in", "made from", and "made out of" correctly. This will help you know when the most appropriate situation are to use which phrase.

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