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Does english have a word for the concept "to be of" something? One word? It is hard for me to explain what I mean. But such as the trees are of earth or a child is of a parent.. Maybe bad examples but might help build a picture.

Not just relating to, but to be directly of that something. A product of that something, basically.

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  • It’s antiquated, but there’s begat the parent begat the child. But what’s wrong with “is of”? The creature was of the forest.
    – Jim
    May 30, 2017 at 20:36
  • I read the phrase in a book by Jerri Nielsen, who was the Base MD at South Pole. She said of herself that she was "of the ice" and one of her e-mail correspondents described himself as "of the Sierra". Nielsen meant that she was changed by and belonged in "the ice" of Antarctica. Is this the usage you mean? Her correspondent was formed by and belonged in the Sierra. As for one word....I have to think.
    – ab2
    May 30, 2017 at 20:53
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    "To be of" is poetic and magical simplicity, why be searching more complicated , whereas "born of", for instance, is limiting and / or brings nothing more ?
    – Baiwir
    May 30, 2017 at 21:58
  • I suspect the answer is no. I can't think of any single-word solution, which would have to be a verb, that does the (very complex) job of expressing the act of having sprung from something. There always has to be a preposition - originate from, descend from, be the spawn of... It almost seems that English grammar doesn't have anything like this, but then neither do the other Germanic languages. But an answer like "no" would be very categorical so I'd rather leave it to the experts. May 30, 2017 at 22:14
  • Anon, do you need it to be just one word? The closest I can come is inherit and that is not very close. May 31, 2017 at 5:05

2 Answers 2

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I would hazard to say you have the answer already: of.

Based on your question, I gather that English is not your first language. "Of" and other such commonly used small (2-4 letter) words often contain considerable nuance of meaning. Most dictionaries have six, eight, ten entries for such words, and I have seen these confuse English learners, let alone native speakers.

Oxford Online gives eight root entries for "of". Each describes relationship between subjects and/or predicates.

If "of" fails to satisfy your poetic inclination, break open a thesaurus and start with the words that have already been suggested: made, born.

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A (clever) standard English construction is the compound adjective, which requires two words: a substantive + a past-participle/adjective.

To convey your specific idea of "production", you could use past participles such as "made", "born", "built", "crafted":

Examples:

A man-made tool

An Irish-born person

A hand-made cookie

A steel-built ship

A wood-crafted spoon

So the first word would be roughly the "what/where from" and the second would be the "how".

There is no hard and fast rule on whether the two words should be separated by a a hyphen, a space or joined together (see this explanation about hyphens).

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