Consists Of vs. Entails

January 6, 2013 at 1:58 am 1 comment

When you write that something “consists of” various components, you are usually referring to something that has consistency or substance. That means that it must be a noun that has some kind of mass to it.

You really cannot use the expression “consists of” when referring to verbs, because actions have no mass or consistency.

There is a better word that can be used with verbs: Entails, which means to involve as a necessary accompaniment.

Inspecting the laboratory entails checking to see that all containers are labeled, ensuring that there are no dangerous conditions present, and documenting the findings in the Safety Management System.

You could also use the words “includes” or “involves” rather than “entails,” which would be better than “consists of.”

Entails can also be used with nouns.

Motherhood entails hard work, sacrifice, sweet kisses, and poopy diapers.

Some of these nouns have no mass or consistency – and some can have a large mass with nasty consistency!

Profound Quote of the Day:

“Your decision to be, have and do something out of the ordinary entails facing difficulties that are out of the ordinary as well. Sometimes your greatest asset is simply your ability to stay with it longer than anyone else.”
– Brian Tracy, American author and motivational speaker, b. 1944

Two of his books: Maximum Achievement and The Power of Self-Confidence

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