Make up

“Make up” refers to how individual pieces combine to form a part of a whole.

Lesson #
May 31, 2021
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Transcript

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Make up

Today’s expression is to “make up,” and we’re going to talk about this in terms of statistics and percentages. If you have a phobia of math, this might not be your favorite expression. Here’s how you heard it earlier today: The Han ethnic group makes up about 91 percent of China’s population. That means that if you put everyone in the Han ethnic group together, and add them up, then you will get to 91 percent of the population.

Minority ethnic groups make up about nine percent of the population. If you take all the minority ethnic groups in China, according to the census, and if you add all those people up, then the total will be 9 percent of the population.

“Make up,” therefore, refers to how individual pieces combine to form a part of a whole. It doesn’t have to be people. Here in the US, we have four major broadcast television networks. They carry a mixture of national programming and local programming. Channel 7 in Chicago is part of the ABC national broadcast network. Channel 7 has some Chicago-specific time slots and some national time slots. Local programming makes up about a fifth of the daily schedule on ABC. The rest of the time is national news, big primetime shows, reruns, and things like that.

What I mean is, take the full 24 hours in a day. A part of that 24 hours is local programming, like local news and talk shows, and a part of that 24 hours is national programming, like American Idol, Shark Tank, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and Big Sky. Local programming makes up about 20 percent of the daily schedule, while national programming makes up about 80 percent of the daily schedule. If you take all the local programming and add it up, it combines to form 20 percent of the day. If you take all the national programming and add it up, it combines to form 80 percent of the day.

Up until now, we’ve talked about percentages, but it doesn’t have to be expressed as a percent. If you watch a half hour of television on a broadcast network, do you get 30 minutes of entertainment? Not likely. In fact, commercials make up about eight minutes out of every half-hour show. Combine the commercials, and they add up to about eight minutes.

ABC broadcasts the biggest basketball games of the year. Starters make up five out of the fifteen roster spots on an NBA basketball team. That means each team can have fifteen people. But only five players can start a game; only five can be on the court at one time. So we say starters make up five out of the fifteen roster spots. Bench players make up the rest.

So we’ve used “make up” with percentages and with whole numbers. We can also use it with general estimates. Let’s go back to our TV example. Time was, the only television you could watch was over-the-air broadcast television. Back in those days, the big broadcast networks made up a large share of a typical family’s TV time. Sure, there were local stations with lower-quality content. But the big networks made up a big share, or a big part, of a family’s TV time.

Today’s it’s different. The big networks—and this is probably true where you are, too—they make up a much lower share of a typical person’s TV entertainment time. First there was cable, then there was streaming, and now there’s TikTok and shorter-form entertainment. So the big TV networks make up less and less of a typical person’s video entertainment time.

Quote of the Week

Today’s quote is a short one and a famous one in English. Unfortunately, it might be mis-attributed. But here we go. The quote is this: “Demography is destiny.” It means that a country’s future is determined by its population growth, and population distribution. At its core, demography is issues like fertility, mortality, migration, age distribution. We also use the word to describe income and educational levels. But in this sense “demography is destiny” means that trends in population will determine the future of a country or a region.

The quote is typically attributed to a French philosopher, Auguste Comte. But the word “demography” wasn’t used in French until almost the end of Comte’s life, and there’s no written record that he said it. So the quote is often attributed to him, but we’re not sure if he actually said. But we’ll give it to him, with an asterisk—and an apology to the true speaker if we’re not right.

Speaking of apologies. Sheesh! I got a quote wrong a few weeks ago and I have to correct it. “Behind every kick of the ball, there has to be a thought.” That’s by the soccer player Dennis Bergkamp. I said David Bergkamp. That’s what happens when you let an American talk about soccer, right?

See you next time!

That’s all for today. Congratulations on making it to the end of another Plain English lesson. This was for all the math lovers out there. Numbers are hard in English. They’re hard in your second language. When I first started with Spanish, I started with a BBC learning Spanish program for beginners. And when they got to the section on numbers, I almost gave up. The exercise was, they were reading out a bus schedule and I had to say what time the different buses left the station. And I listened to the numbers and I thought, I will never understand this. This is too hard. And I really almost gave up right then and there. I was almost defeated by a bus schedule.

So I feel your pain as you try to listen to the numbers and the stats and the percentages.

Numbers aside, if you’re ready to improve your English listening skills, then we have a lot available for you in Plain English Plus+. Each lesson has some specific listening exercises that will test your listening skills. And of course we have the fast version of the program, too, so you can listen to both and see how well you can understand it at full speed.

Food for thought. If you’re interested, head on over to PlainEnglish.com/Plus and sign up today.

¿Hablas español?

The transcript of this lesson is available with interactive translations into Spanish. In each lesson transcript, we select about one hundred difficult words, phrases , and expressions for translation.

How is this different than simply using a translation engine?

Translation engines are powerful tools for communicating in the modern world . However, they often miss the context and can either mislead you or leave you confused . Our human translators are here to make sure that you’re getting not only the correct definition, but also the full context .

How can I use the translations in my studies?

Most members use the translations as they are listening to the lesson and reading along . When you come across a word you don’t understand, you don’t have to press pause to discover the meaning . You can simply hover your mouse over the highlighted word . This lets you learn the definition of the word without having to press pause on the audio.

Do the translations work on mobile?

Yes! Instead of hovering over a highlighted word, just tap on it .

How can I access the translations?

Translations are included in two memberships: Plain English Plus+ and Starter. Choose a plan and get started today!

你说中国话?

The transcript of this lesson is available with interactive translations into your language. In each lesson transcript, we select about one hundred difficult words, phrases , and expressions for translation.

How is this different than simply using a translation engine?

Translation engines are powerful tools for communicating in the modern world . However, they often miss the context and can either mislead you or leave you confused . Our human translators are here to make sure that you’re getting not only the correct definition, but also the full context .

How can I use the translations in my studies?

Most members use the translations as they are listening to the lesson and reading along . When you come across a word you don’t understand, you don’t have to press pause to discover the meaning . You can simply hover your mouse over the highlighted word . This lets you learn the definition of the word without having to press pause on the audio.

Do the translations work on mobile?

Yes! Instead of hovering over a highlighted word, just tap on it .

How can I access the translations?

Translations are included in two memberships: Plain English Plus+ and Starter. Choose a plan and get started today!

Parlez-vous français?

The transcript of this lesson is available with interactive translations into your language. In each lesson transcript, we select about one hundred difficult words, phrases , and expressions for translation.

How is this different than simply using a translation engine?

Translation engines are powerful tools for communicating in the modern world . However, they often miss the context and can either mislead you or leave you confused . Our human translators are here to make sure that you’re getting not only the correct definition, but also the full context .

How can I use the translations in my studies?

Most members use the translations as they are listening to the lesson and reading along . When you come across a word you don’t understand, you don’t have to press pause to discover the meaning . You can simply hover your mouse over the highlighted word . This lets you learn the definition of the word without having to press pause on the audio.

Do the translations work on mobile?

Yes! Instead of hovering over a highlighted word, just tap on it .

Can I see a sample?

Yes, please visit PlainEnglish.com/sample to see a sample episode with the Spanish translations.

How can I access the translations?

Translations are included in two memberships: Plain English Plus+ and Starter. Choose a plan and get started today!

Você fala português?

The transcript of this lesson is available with interactive translations into your language. In each lesson transcript, we select about one hundred difficult words, phrases , and expressions for translation.

How is this different than simply using a translation engine?

Translation engines are powerful tools for communicating in the modern world . However, they often miss the context and can either mislead you or leave you confused . Our human translators are here to make sure that you’re getting not only the correct definition, but also the full context .

How can I use the translations in my studies?

Most members use the translations as they are listening to the lesson and reading along . When you come across a word you don’t understand, you don’t have to press pause to discover the meaning . You can simply hover your mouse over the highlighted word . This lets you learn the definition of the word without having to press pause on the audio.

Do the translations work on mobile?

Yes! Instead of hovering over a highlighted word, just tap on it .

Can I see a sample?

Yes, please visit PlainEnglish.com/sample to see a sample episode with the Spanish translations.

How can I access the translations?

Translations are included in two memberships: Plain English Plus+ and Starter. Choose a plan and get started today!

日本語は話せますか?

The transcript of this lesson is available with interactive translations into your language. In each lesson transcript, we select about one hundred difficult words, phrases , and expressions for translation.

How is this different than simply using a translation engine?

Translation engines are powerful tools for communicating in the modern world . However, they often miss the context and can either mislead you or leave you confused . Our human translators are here to make sure that you’re getting not only the correct definition, but also the full context .

How can I use the translations in my studies?

Most members use the translations as they are listening to the lesson and reading along . When you come across a word you don’t understand, you don’t have to press pause to discover the meaning . You can simply hover your mouse over the highlighted word . This lets you learn the definition of the word without having to press pause on the audio.

Do the translations work on mobile?

Yes! Instead of hovering over a highlighted word, just tap on it .

Can I see a sample?

Yes, please visit PlainEnglish.com/sample to see a sample episode with the Spanish translations.

How can I access the translations?

Translations are included in two memberships: Plain English Plus+ and Starter. Choose a plan and get started today!

Parli italiano?

The transcript of this lesson is available with interactive translations into your language. In each lesson transcript, we select about one hundred difficult words, phrases , and expressions for translation.

How is this different than simply using a translation engine?

Translation engines are powerful tools for communicating in the modern world . However, they often miss the context and can either mislead you or leave you confused . Our human translators are here to make sure that you’re getting not only the correct definition, but also the full context .

How can I use the translations in my studies?

Most members use the translations as they are listening to the lesson and reading along . When you come across a word you don’t understand, you don’t have to press pause to discover the meaning . You can simply hover your mouse over the highlighted word . This lets you learn the definition of the word without having to press pause on the audio.

Do the translations work on mobile?

Yes! Instead of hovering over a highlighted word, just tap on it .

Can I see a sample?

Yes, please visit PlainEnglish.com/sample to see a sample episode with the Spanish translations.

How can I access the translations?

Translations are included in two memberships: Plain English Plus+ and Starter. Choose a plan and get started today!

Sprechen Sie Deutsch?

The transcript of this lesson is available with interactive translations into your language. In each lesson transcript, we select about one hundred difficult words, phrases , and expressions for translation.

How is this different than simply using a translation engine?

Translation engines are powerful tools for communicating in the modern world . However, they often miss the context and can either mislead you or leave you confused . Our human translators are here to make sure that you’re getting not only the correct definition, but also the full context .

How can I use the translations in my studies?

Most members use the translations as they are listening to the lesson and reading along . When you come across a word you don’t understand, you don’t have to press pause to discover the meaning . You can simply hover your mouse over the highlighted word . This lets you learn the definition of the word without having to press pause on the audio.

Do the translations work on mobile?

Yes! Instead of hovering over a highlighted word, just tap on it .

Can I see a sample?

Yes, please visit PlainEnglish.com/sample to see a sample episode with the Spanish translations.

How can I access the translations?

Translations are included in two memberships: Plain English Plus+ and Starter. Choose a plan and get started today!

Sen Türkçe konuşmayı biliyor musun?

The transcripts of Plain English lessons are available with interactive translations into your language. In each lesson transcript, we select about one hundred difficult words, phrases , and expressions for translation. Turkish translations are available starting at Lesson 278.

How is this different than simply using a translation engine?

Translation engines are powerful tools for communicating in the modern world . However, they often miss the context and can either mislead you or leave you confused . Our human translators are here to make sure that you’re getting not only the correct definition, but also the full context .

How can I use the translations in my studies?

Most members use the translations as they are listening to the lesson and reading along . When you come across a word you don’t understand, you don’t have to press pause to discover the meaning . You can simply hover your mouse over the highlighted word . This lets you learn the definition of the word without having to press pause on the audio.

Do the translations work on mobile?

Yes! Instead of hovering over a highlighted word, just tap on it .

Can I see a sample?

Yes, please visit PlainEnglish.com/sample to see a sample episode with the Spanish translations.

How can I access the translations?

Translations are included in two memberships: Plain English Plus+ and Starter. Choose a plan and get started today!

Mówisz po polsku?

The transcript of Plain English lessons are available with interactive translations into your language. In each lesson transcript, we select about one hundred difficult words, phrases , and expressions for translation. Polish translations are available starting at Lesson 278.

How is this different than simply using a translation engine?

Translation engines are powerful tools for communicating in the modern world . However, they often miss the context and can either mislead you or leave you confused . Our human translators are here to make sure that you’re getting not only the correct definition, but also the full context .

How can I use the translations in my studies?

Most members use the translations as they are listening to the lesson and reading along . When you come across a word you don’t understand, you don’t have to press pause to discover the meaning . You can simply hover your mouse over the highlighted word . This lets you learn the definition of the word without having to press pause on the audio.

Do the translations work on mobile?

Yes! Instead of hovering over a highlighted word, just tap on it .

Can I see a sample?

Yes, please visit PlainEnglish.com/sample to see a sample episode with the Spanish translations.

How can I access the translations?

Translations are included in two memberships: Plain English Plus+ and Starter. Choose a plan and get started today!

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