Which is correct: "These ten sub-lists together make the full overall list." or "These ten sub-lists together make up the full overall list." or "These ten sub-lists together make the full overall list up."?

I'm not sure whether the phrasal verb (i.e., adding "up") is needed here, because I know that "to make up" also means "to invent".

I'm also not sure whether the "up", if it goes there, should be at the end or in between.

Update: The only answerer is apparently not sure, so, any other answers?

  • bear in mind: make up = invent and make up=comprise. This list is made up of ten words. This list is comprised of ten words.
    – Lambie
    Aug 12, 2021 at 15:21
  • These ten sub-lists make up or comprise or constitute the full list.
    – Lambie
    Aug 12, 2021 at 15:46

1 Answer 1


These ten sub-lists together make the full overall list.

These ten sub-lists together make for the full overall list.

The usage of the definite article or preposition "for" followed by the definite article is the correct usage (in this case).

As you said yourself, make up would be ambiguous in this case. The last example sentence of yours is quite weird sounding.

These ten sub-lists together make the full overall list up.

We do not use the adverb at the end of a sentence to mean something like making something up/creating something.

On a short note, I would also like to point out the usage of full and overall in the same sentence, back-to-back.

  • full - complete, whole, or containing a lot of detail.
  • overall - in general rather than in particular, or including all the people or things in a particular group or situation.

Both the adjectives defines something whole. So I would rather say you use only one of the two words: full/overall. You can also consider the following alternative:

These ten sub-lists together make for the whole list.

Edit: According to original poster's comment, "make for the whole" is a rare instance (I did not get just four results though). It might be so, but it sounds the best in this case. Google Ngram showing the stable pace of "make for the whole" as against the rapid decrease in "make up the whole".

  • So, if I mean "to make" in the same sense that all the parts of something make (up?) that whole something, "make for" is the correct expression? I just googled "together make for the whole" and it occurs just four times in the whole Internet. Oct 16, 2020 at 22:04
  • @Philosopherofscience I have to do some more research on it. It seems a little bit tricky. Although I hardly think people will misinterpret even if you use "make up the whole". If any user down-votes it then I might delete my answer as well. Because I don't want to mislead fellow users. Oct 17, 2020 at 12:21
  • But you still think that "make up the whole" is better than "make the whole" without "up", right? Oct 17, 2020 at 12:48
  • @Philosopherofscience No, I don't think make up the whole is better than make the whole. But I said (in my previous comment) that it might be acceptable by some people. Oct 18, 2020 at 14:10
  • @Dhanishyha Ghosh So I'm confused about what I should do. Oct 18, 2020 at 22:48

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