Difference Between Composition and Comprehension

Main Difference – Composition vs Comprehension

Composition and comprehension are two main aspects in language learning. Composition and comprehension are also used as activities in language learning. Comprehension refers to an individual’s ability to understand a text whereas composition is the creation of something like a written work. Thus, composition and comprehension are intrinsically linked together. The main difference between composition and comprehension is that composition involves creating something whereas comprehension involves understanding something that has been created by someone else. Thus, composition is associated with creating, and comprehension is associated with understanding.

This article looks at,

1. What is Composition – Meaning, Characteristics, and Skills

2. What is Comprehension – Meaning, Characteristics, and Skills

3. Difference Between Composition and Comprehension Difference Between Composition and Comprehension - Composition vs. Comprehension Comparison Summary

What is a Composition

Composition refers to a creative work or the act of producing a creative work. In the world of education, composition mainly refers to written work. Various written works such as letters, essays, short stories, poems, short narratives, etc. all belong to the broad spectrum of compositions.

Composition is always associated with creation. When you are composing a creative work, you first note down your ideas on a piece of paper. Then, you add structure and more detail which will result in a longer, more flowing description. You need good writing skills to compose a successful piece of written work. These skills may include a good vocabulary, good grammar, spelling, and punctuation knowledge. Apart from language issues, a writer also needs to pay attention to style and structure of his composition. Editing, proofreading and revising are also other important skills required in compositions.

Although composition mainly refers to written work, it can also sometimes refer to other creations such as a piece of music or even an impromptu speech.

Main Difference -  Composition vs  Comprehension

What is a Comprehension

Comprehension refers to a person’s ability to understand. In language learning, students’ competency is tested through two types of comprehension activities known as reading comprehension and listening comprehension. Reading comprehension involves reading a text and understanding its meaning whereas listening comprehension involves listening to a text (dialogue, announcement, speech, etc.) and understanding its meaning.

There are two main processes in a comprehension activity: vocabulary knowledge and text comprehension. If the student does not have a good knowledge of vocabulary, he may not be able to make sense of the text. A student also cannot comprehend the text just because he knows the meaning of individual words. He or she should be able to understand the relation between words, phrases and sentences in order to derive the true meaning of a text. Understanding inferences, drawing logical conclusions, finding the main idea and identifying the difference between fact and opinion are some of the reading skills that are needed in comprehension.

Difference Between Composition and Comprehension

Difference Between Composition and Comprehension


Composition is associated with creating.

Comprehension is associated with understanding.

Writing vs Reading

Composition mainly involves writing.

Comprehension involves reading or listening.


Composition involves creating something.

Comprehension involves understanding something created by someone else.


Composition requires good writing skills.

Comprehension requires good reading or listening skills.

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About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.