When to use “from” and when to use “of”

Two little words can cause such uncertainty with regard to using English! With the help of the following example sentences, you can recognize the difference. Put these example sentences (or similar sentences) in your SRS and repeat often.

-OF-

Of indicates “a part of a larger whole”, for example 

  • A member of the club”  (a member is part of a larger group)
  • “A friend of mine”  (the person belongs to a group of people that I classify as friends)

-FROM-

“From” means “originated from something or somewhere”. To make that a little clearer, let’s look at these sentences:

  • “Paper is made FROM wood”  is correct. Paper is a product of what was once the original material, wood.
  • “Paper is made OF wood” is  false. The original material, that paper was derived from, is no longer there.

 

  • “The table is made OF wood”  means that the table’s material is pure wood.
  • “The table is made FROM wood” means that the table is made of something that was originally wood (particle wood), but it’s not pure wood.

 

  • “There’s a picture FROM me in the internet” means that I took the picture, or that I’m the original owner. I’m not necessarily a part of the picture.
  • “There’s a picture OF me in the internet” means I’m a part of the picture; I’m in it.

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