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I found, in many literature, that a sentence has been started with "Use was made of". The complete sentence is like this: "Use was made of something"

What does it actually mean?

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It's just another way of saying

Something was used ...

In the above sentence, "used" is used as a verb. This sentence is in the active voice.

Whereas in the sentence in the question,

Use was made of something ...

"use" is used as a noun and the sentence is in the passive voice.

For a more elaborate explanation on active and passive voice, you can look up this guide from British Council.

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Make use of is a transitive multi-word verb of the verbo-nominal class, is commonly used, and is often a more formal replacement for 'use'. It does also carry the sense of 'find something helpful / useful / convenient / fitting'.

We made good use of the money you gave us.

Make sense of is a similar MWV, but is resistant to passivisation

(??/* Sense was made of the instructions.)

Here,

Use was made of the ropes from the wreck in the building of a raft.

is far more acceptable.

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  • I disagree that make use of is considered "more" formal, except by those who have mistakenly learned that verbosity imbues formality. Not my DV, by the way. – Canis Lupus Apr 25 '17 at 0:18

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