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Construct and Produce


Produce and Construct
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Today, we answer two similar questions from Eric in China and Shahid in Pakistan. Shahid writes:

Question:

I am confused by the words construct and produce. What are their different meanings?

Thank you – Shahid, Pakistan.

Answer:

Dear Eric and Shahid,

Thank you for writing to us. There are many verbs that are like the word “make.” “Produce” and “construct” are two of them. But, what are the differences between these two words? Let us take a look at them.

Produce

Often, we use the word “produce” when we talk about manufacturing something for sale.

The car factory produces hundreds of vehicles each day.

The word “produce” also describes the result of a natural process.

Every plant produces oxygen critical to life.

This white clover, photographed May 13, 2019, growing on a lawn near Langley, Washington, is attractive to a variety of pollinators.
This white clover, photographed May 13, 2019, growing on a lawn near Langley, Washington, is attractive to a variety of pollinators.


Places like a country or school can “produce” also.

Last year, Wakanda produced enough food to feed all its people.

We also use the word “produce” when someone is making a play, movie, or something in the arts.

She is producing a new album to be released in Japan.

Construct

We often use the verb “construct” to talk about making something that has many parts. In this sense, it is similar to the word “build”.

The city constructed a bigger bridge to serve a growing community.

You could use the word “built” instead of “constructed” in that sentence and express the exact same idea.

FILE - In this Feb. 4, 2004 file photo, author Octavia Butler poses near some of her novels at University Book Store in Seattle, Wash. Butler, considered the first black woman to gain national prominence as a science fiction writer, died Feb. 24, 2006, at
FILE - In this Feb. 4, 2004 file photo, author Octavia Butler poses near some of her novels at University Book Store in Seattle, Wash. Butler, considered the first black woman to gain national prominence as a science fiction writer, died Feb. 24, 2006, at


“Construct” does not always mean to build something physically. It can also mean to make a story or theory by using ideas or words. For example:

The short story writer constructed a humorous story about the holidays.

I hope that helps to answer your question, Eric and Shahid.

And that’s Ask a Teacher.

What question do you have about American English? Send us an email at learningenglish@voanews.com. You can also leave us a comment on our webpage.

I’m Jill Robbins

And I’m Greg Stachel.

Gregory Stachel wrote this story for VOA Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

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Words in This Story

constructv. to build or make (something physical, such as a road, bridge, or building) or to make or create (something, such as a story or theory) by organizing ideas, words, etc.

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