< Made and Prepositions
By Faith Pirlo
17 February 2023

Hello! This week on Ask a Teacher, we will answer a question about the verb "made" when used with prepositions.


Hello, VOA Learning English,

Ask a Teacher: Made and Prepositions
Ask a Teacher: Made and Prepositions

I hope that you are doing well.

I am very happy to be sending this email as I have been listening to this Learning English program for some time.

I would like to know more about the differences between these words:

"Made in," "made from," and "made for."

Thank you,

Abdulkadir from Somalia


Dear Abdulkadir,

Thanks for being a loyal listener of VOA Learning English. And thank you for writing to us. The verb "made" is often used with prepositions to describe how things are created or produced. Depending on the preposition, like "in," "from," or "for," the meaning of the verb changes slightly.

Let's start with the verb "made."


"Made" is the past tense form of "make." It means to produce, build, or prepare something.

He made me dinner on Valentine's Day.

Sometimes we use this verb for things we cannot physically see or touch.

We made plans to study at the library.

Made with prepositions

Let's look at the examples Abdulkadir asked about: "made in," "made from" and "made for."

"Make...in," or in the past tense, "made in," means that something was produced or built in a certain place, country or city.

The company made products in the USA.

Sometimes when we use "made in" we are using the term as an adjective to describe where the products are produced.

Products made in the USA support American workers.

"Made from" describes the materials used to create or produce something. Usually these are the unprocessed or raw materials. Processing or manufacturing changes them into something new so that we cannot tell what the materials are.

Tofu is made from soybeans.

Cheese is made from cow's milk.

"Made for" is used when something is created for a specific purpose or person.

She made a cake for her friend's birthday.

Mountain bikes are not really made for the road.

Sometimes "made for" suggests that people get along very well together.

Those two were made for each other.

Please let us know if these explanations and examples have helped you!

What question do you have about American English? Send us an email at learningenglish@voanews.com

And that's Ask a Teacher.

I'm Faith Pirlo.

Faith Pirlo wrote this lesson for VOA Learning English.


Words in This Story

loyal – adj. having or showing complete and constant support for someone or something

raw adj. in the natural state

tofu n. a soft white or brown food made from soybeans.

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