Are these words interchangable in a context like in the followings?

"The festival is to encompass everything from music, theatre, and ballet to literature, cinema, and the visual arts."

"The kingdom Plantae encompasses water-dwelling red and green algae as well as terrestrial plants."

  • 5
    You have now asked over 200 questions on ELL. When asking about specific words, you should at least include some definitions that show you've at least looked up the words, and establish a baseline for what you already know. You would get a lot more upvotes on your questions if you learned to ask questions more like Yoichi.
    – J.R.
    Jun 5 '15 at 15:27

Encompass and comprise are not interchangeable. Encompass means "include comprehensively" and comprise means "make up, consists of". - Google.

In the first sentence, encompass means "the festival contains music, theater, ballet, etc". You could not use comprise here because "the festival isn't made up of ballet and literature".

In the second sentence, I wouldn't use comprise here either because "the kingdom Plantae contains" makes more sense than "the kingdom Plantae is made up of". However, I think it would be acceptable to use comprise in the second sentence.

The kingdom Plantae is comprised of water-dwelling red and green algae as well as terrestrial plants.

  • 2
    To me, "is comprised of" is a solecism resulting from confusion with "is composed of". It's gotten a lot of usage and may become standard, but I don't think it's a wise choice to answer this question. "Comprise" (by itself) is a synonym for "encompass". A good dictionary of synonyms will probably explain the subtle difference between them.
    – Ben Kovitz
    Jun 14 '15 at 22:01

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